Minnesota Conference Committee Considers Oregon's Health Plan for Medicaid Patients

St. Paul, Minnesota - The conference committee of the Minnesota Health and Human Services Omnibus bill will soon consider explicit rationing of health care for recipients of Medicaid, MinnesotaCare and General Assistance Medical Care.

The 217-item list of paired diagnoses and treatments that could be excluded from coverage was imported from the Oregon Health Plan and included in the Senate version of the HHS bill. It is not in the House version. Altogether, within the list, there are about 1,418 diagnoses that could be denied for coverage. The list of diagnoses excluded for treatment includes:

  • Chronic ear infection
  • Foreign body in the ear or nose
  • Uterine Prolapse: Cystocele
  • Chronic Anal Fissure/Anal Fistula
  • Hypospadias/Epispadias (hole in penis too high or low)
  • Mononucleosis
  • Meningitis - aseptic
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Deformities of upper body and all limbs
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Kidney Cyst
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Malunion and Non-Union of Fracture

Furthermore, the state is allowed to deny coverage for:

  • Cancer where treatment will not result in a 5%, five-year survival.
  • Conditions with "no effective treatment or no treatment necessary"
  • Liver transplant for liver cancer

"The Oregon Health Plan is not the solution to what ails our rising state health care budget. Costs will decrease only when patients become personally engaged in the purchase of health care services. Excluding services for painful, debilitating, chronic and life-threatening conditions will only encourage doctors to game the system to meet the needs of patients," says Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC)

"Medical treatment decisions belong in the hands of patients and doctors, not legislators or state officials. The Oregon Health Plan list will tie the hands of doctors and leave patients vulnerable to the quality of life and length of life decisions of others," Brase emphasizes.

The Omnibus HHS bill is HF 437.  

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)