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Cuts to low-income health care program will affect nearly 400 county residents

WILLMAR -- With Gov. Pawlenty's line-item veto of $381 million for the General Assistance Medical Care program, nearly 400 Kandiyohi County residents could be left without health insurance.

The single adults who are currently in the program are "some of the poorest of our poor adults in Kandiyohi County," said Jay Kieft, Kandiyohi County Family Services director. They are often individuals who are unemployable.

"Their well-being, their health is of great concern to us," Kieft said.

The cost of caring for those individuals will likely fall on the shoulders of local health care facilities, he said. It's unknown what the long-term impact of the cuts will be. Details of how the program cuts will be implemented are also not known.

Kieft said "it'll be interesting" to see what alternatives there will be for these individuals once the General Assistance Medical Care program "goes away."

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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