|By Star Tribune (Minneapolis)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
For nearly two years, controversy has swirled over the
A new, high-level federal audit and the recent results of a state review ordered by Gov.
Lawmakers last year took an important step when they passed legislation authorizing a deep audit of program finances by Legislative Auditor
But the newly announced involvement by the federal
The results of the Dayton-ordered auditgive lawmakers a productive place to start as they consider reforms -- what is an legitimate administrative expense that can be allocated to state public health programs? The review looked at the state's four big health plans --
The audits for Blue Crossand for UCare (which discovered a
What the Dayton audit did not do is make broader policy judgments about how the program is run -- such as how much the plans should profit from public programs, how much they should hold in financial reserves and how much of their executive pay should be allocated back to public programs. Clarifying policy on administrative expenses would be a good place to start grappling with big, thorny questions that have critical state budget implications.