Our legislative rep Dave Renner, CAE, shares a preview of the 2022 Minnesota Legislative Session and highlights the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians’ (MAFP) legislative priorities and ways to get engaged in MAFP advocacy efforts.
The Minnesota Legislature reconvenes for the 2022 Legislative Session on January 31.
Legislature Expected to Hear Budget Surplus + Bonding Bill Proposals
With this being the second year of the biennium, there is nothing the Legislature is required to accomplish; but, with a record-setting state budget surplus of $7.7 billion, there will be many proposals on how to use those funds. The Legislature also usually passes a bonding bill to fund capital improvement projects throughout the state.
All 201 Seats Up for Election & Districts TBD
A complicating factor in this year’s session is the fact that all 201 seats are up for election, and legislative districts have yet to be determined. Following the 2020 U.S. census, the Legislature is required to rewrite legislative districts to ensure that they are all the same size. They have until February 15 to complete this work. Most agree that they will not be able to come to an agreement on the new districts, and the courts will step in to finish the work.
With all these factors—and the fact that we continue to have a split legislature (with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans controlling the Senate)—it’s unclear how much they will be able to pass this year.
MAFP’s Legislative Priorities for 2022
The MAFP Legislative Committee, co-chaired by Pat Fontaine, MD, MS, FAAFP, and Jamie Conniff, MD, MPH, has been busy setting the MAFP legislative agenda for 2022.
The top priority is improving the state’s investment in primary care and health care payment models. To do so, we first need to understand the whole picture of health care spending in Minnesota. Currently, Minnesota’s All-Payer Claims Database collects claims data from all payers. This does not, however, capture value-based payments, infrastructure costs, care coordination and other patient support services that are not part of a claim.
The MAFP has proposed legislation that would require:
- Payers annually submit non-claims, value-based payment data to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
- MDH to report on how much of those payments go for primary care services verses non-primary care services.
A second MAFP priority is legislation to limit insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from changing a patient’s drug coverage during a contract year. This is an ongoing challenge for family physicians and their patients when a drug is covered in January and no longer covered in March; yet, the patient cannot change insurers until the end of the enrollment period. This legislation [to limit insurers and PBMs from changing drug coverage during a contract year] has been opposed by insurers and the business community because of concerns with the high cost of drugs.
In addition to the above priorities, the MAFP remains active in advocating for a variety of public health concerns, including (but not limited to):
- Reducing firearms injury and death.
- Increasing vaccination rates.
- Protecting comprehensive, equitable reproductive health care.
Because of the strong partisan differences on how to address gun violence, vaccinations and reproductive health care, it is unlikely any action will take place on these issues.
Get Involved in MAFP’s Legislative Advocacy
Our advocacy efforts are most successful when members are engaged.
Here’s how you can help this legislative session:
- We’ll be sharing legislative updates throughout session via this blog and across our social media channels. Click the “Follow” button on the blog to sign up to receive email notifications of new posts.
- Respond to calls to action when asked to contact your legislators.
- Participate in the online Minnesota Medical Association Day at the Capitol on March 1, which the MAFP is co-sponsoring. This will include opportunities for you to meet with legislators online.
- Reach out to Jami Burbidge, MAM, MAFP’s Chief Operation Officer, for additional ways to get plugged into MAFP’s advocacy work.