The MMA strongly opposes using the Health Care Access Fund as a slush fund to pay for projects unrelated to health care or to balance the state’s budget.
The Health Care Access Fund was originally created by the Legislature in 1992 to be a dedicated funding source for expanding insurance coverage. It is the primary source of funding for the MinnesotaCare program, which helps low-income workers buy medical insurance.
The HCAF has four primary sources of revenue a 2 percent tax on physicians, hospitals and other health care providers, a 1 percent gross premium tax, premiums from enrollees, and federal matching dollars. During the last several years hundreds of millions of dollars were taken from the HCAF and used to reduce the state General Fund deficit.
The 2 percent tax, often called "the sick tax," is scheduled for repeal at the end of 2019. The MMA remains committed to its repeal and will remind legislators in 2016 that it must go away.