Last Monday, March 12, was Medical Alley Day at the Capitol. Several Medical Alley members brought their innovative, life-saving products to the Minnesota Capitol for legislators and the broader capitol community to see firsthand. Other members met with legislative leaders from both the House & Senate to advocate for issues important to the Health Innovation & Care industry. Overall it was a very successful day and we are already looking forward to next year!
Please see more – including pictures – at our 2018 Day at the Capitol page on the Medical Alley Association website.
This past Thursday Medical Alley Association testified in the Senate Health and Human Services Policy & Finance with concerns on SF730. This bill, authored by Sen. Julie Rosen, would create a new tax on opioids sold in Minnesota. It would also establish a large annual registration fee on opioid manufacturers and surcharge on these manufacturers in 2019. These funds would be used to fund opioid addiction prevention, treatment, and other similar programs, as well as the ongoing operation of the Prescription Monitoring Program.
Medical Alley Association raised a number of concerns with this proposal. These include the creation of an extensive tracking system and reporting responsibilities for manufacturers; lack of clarity on impact to non-opioid pain management solutions; and significant cost increases to healthcare systems and patients through a new tax on opioids sold in Minnesota, in addition to concerns over implementing a new tax when other funding mechanisms are available.
The bill was passed to the Finance Committee. We will keep you updated as this bill progresses.
The companion bill – HF1440 – passed out of Health and Human Services Reform in the House on Thursday. The new opioid tax (no registration fees or surcharges appeared in this bill) was amended out of the bill and replaced with a general fund appropriation. It was passed to the Civil Law & Data Practices committee where it is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday. We will continue to track this bill as well.
On Friday Governor Dayton released his Supplemental Budget recommendations. Overall, Governor Dayton recommended $20 million in net tax relief and $227 million in spending increases for a total of $206 million (rounding throws off the numbers) impact to the state budget. That leaves $123 million on the bottom line.
He proposed a number of changes including expanding the state operated pre-k program, more money for Border-to-Border broadband, and a myriad of opioid treatment and prevention programs and activities. Below are some of the proposals Medical Alley Association will be watching more closely:
$10 million for the Angel Investor Tax Credit
Federal Tax Conformity
Creation of a special fund for the Spinal Cord Injury & Traumatic Brain Injury grant program
Offer a MinnesotaCare Buy-In on the Individual Market (“MNCare for All”)
Repeal of the 2% Provider Tax Sunset
Opioid Stewardship Tax
A link to the summary document is here.
More supporting documents are here.
Things are starting to heat up at the state legislature as this Thursday is the first committee deadline. This means that unless a bill gets out of all necessary policy committees in either the House or Senate before Thursday at 11:59 PM, no action can be taken on it this year. As a result, policy committees in both the House & Senate are hearing a large number of bills every day. Medical Alley Association is keeping close track of all of these bills for any potential impact on the Health Innovation and Care industry. We will update you next week on bills of note that did or did not meet deadline.
It will be a very busy week in Congress this week as well as the deadline for passing the FY2018 budget is this Friday. The text of the omnibus spending bill was released on Monday evening and likely faces a vote in the House on Wednesday. This would give the Senate two days – until Friday – to give its sign-off. We are in constant communication with Minnesota’s Congressional delegation for any issues that could impact the Health Innovation & Care industry. Please reach out to our Government Affairs team if you have any comments, questions, or concerns about the Federal budget bill or any other issue.