Tuesday, February 2, 2010

GAMC - The Story Behind the Story

By Jerry Lane

Last Wednesday Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced that funds had been found to continue the General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) program for another month. This gives the legislature and the governor some more time to seek a solution which will avoid ending GAMC. As a result, the state canceled its plan to send out the termination notices which were scheduled to go out to thousands of poor sick people on January 29.

What wasn’t mentioned in the press release is the fact that last Monday, Legal Aid informed the governor’s office that unless he agreed to continue the GAMC program for the month of March (which is the period affected by his “unallotment,” separate from his line-item veto of GAMC for FY 2011), they planned to file a lawsuit Wednesday morning and request a Temporary Restraining Order from Judge Gearin requiring continued funding for March, on the same basis as she had found his Special Diet Allowance unallotment illegal and unconstitutional.

Is it possible the governor would have done this without the knowledge that he was about to get sued again? Yes, though Senator Berglin was told ten days ago the money wasn’t there.

The announcement didn’t mention the name of Anne Quincy of Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community. For her whole professional life Anne has devoted her mind and heart to the service of the least of our brothers and sisters. She has expertise in programs like GAMC. She encouraged Legal Aid to take this issue on, and helped prepare the case. Few of the people who will get medical care in March because of this work will know her name or get to thank her.



When: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Thursday, February 4, 2010.

Where: The Minnesota State Capitol.

In a matter of weeks, more than 70,000 Minnesotans will lose access to necessary health coverage with the elimination of General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC). The 2010 session of the Minnesota legislature begins on February 4th and concerned Minnesotans will rally at the Capitol to protect the poorest and sickest Minnesotans - those who rely on GAMC for their health care coverage.

Join with people throughout the state
to call for justice, and to connect with your legislators
to encourage them to Save GAMC!

For more information contact Adam Robinson at 651-291-4536 or visit www.savegamc.org.

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