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Minn. seeks ok to change Medicaid health plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is asking for federal permission to make changes to Minnesota's Medicaid program to save as much as $151 million over five years.

The Democratic governor formally asked the U.S. Health and Human Services Department for a waiver from current rules on Friday.

Dayton says in a letter that rising costs and an aging population will make the current Medicaid system unsustainable by 2020 unless major changes are made.

The state's proposal aims to keep more people who need health care services out of institutions and in their homes. It's also designed to make services such as personal care attendants and counseling for nursing home care faster and more flexible.

Dayton calls the proposal the result of a "rare, bipartisan agreement" from the 2011 budget deal.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.