Dayton signs MA order as spirited crowd watches

Dayton signs MA from tommy scheck on Vimeo.

Twila Brase criticizes Dayton’s action from tommy scheck on Vimeo.

Governor Mark Dayton signed an executive order today to expand the federal Medicaid program in Minnesota.

Dayton took the action as hundreds of supporters and protesters crowded into the governor’s reception room. It was a tense scene as protesters shouted down Capitol Security officer for removing signs protesting Dayton’s action and the federal health care law that allowed it. Dayton’s order means 95,000 Minnesotans will now be eligible for Medicaid. Most of them are currently covered by other state-based programs, but 12,000 have no insurance at all.

“This is a step that benefits all of the people of our state at no net cost to the state of Minnesota according to the Department of Management and Budget.”

Dayton took the unusual move of allowing critics to speak out against his action. It’s rare for governors to allow protesters into the room. It’s unheard of that a governor turns over his podium to them.

Twila Brase, with the Citizens Council on Health Care, said the long-term the expansion of Medicaid is too expensive.

“It really puts the state in peril when it comes to costs. There is something called tails which means once all of these people are on it will be difficult to get them off and it will be expensive to the state in the long haul.”

Dayton says he wants the enrollment to start as soon as possible. Officials in the Pawlenty Administration said it would take until October until the program is in place, a timeline Governor Dayton says is unacceptable.

  • BAB

    Should any of us care what Twila Brase says?

    What citizens does she represent? She regularly opposes most reasonable advances in healthcare without offering constructive alternatives.

    Isn’t it time for the media to ignore her until she establishes a credible constituency?

  • Andy W.

    Who was the idiot who thought it was a good idea to bring a crying baby to this press conference? I think that is not only stupid, but disrespectful.

  • Olivia

    How extraordinary is it that our new governor allowed the opposing side to voice their concerns? Thank you Governor Dayton!

  • Chris

    I’m trying to imagine how Tom Emmer would have handled a situation like this.

  • Mulugeta

    Simply superb job by Gov. Dayton! He set an example for others to follow. This is unprecedented, and I hope Washingtonians are learning something from this simple but powerful gesture!