Governor Mark Dayton and Republicans are again at odds as lawmakers begin work on a relief package for those facing large health insurance premium increases on MNsure. Republicans support short-term help, but also demand long-term reforms. House Speaker Kurt Daudt says, “We want reforms in the bill that are gonna make a difference and affect people who are impacted by this right now in 2017, but also kind of set the stage for 2018.” It’s not in Republicans’ initial proposal, but they’ve been talking about the state paying health care costs in extremely serious or “catastrophic” cases to keep other people’s premiums down. But Governor Mark Dayton says, “I will not sign a bill that has reinsurance because of the cost.” He says it would be 500 million dollars over the two-year budget cycle.
Republicans’ plan matches the governor’s in some areas — a state-paid 25-percent reduction in health insurance premiums for qualifying policyholders over the first three months of 2017. But GOP lawmakers say after that, any reduction should be subject to income limitations. The Dayton administration warns it would take months to implement. The governor says, “I’m all for income limits… [if] they can make an accurate evaluation, but you’ve got to take the real world into account here.”
Republicans propose earmarking $300 million for the relief package. Republican Senator Jim Abeler from Anoka, a key player in the health care debate, says about that: