Governor Dayton is calling on the four caucus leaders to come up with an action plan to help Minnesotans impacted by big hikes in health insurance premiums by November 1st. He’s proposing around $313 million in reserve money be used in what he calls an “emergency.”
Dayton says he’s open to calling a special session to address the issue–possibly even before the November 8th elections, which he previously said he would not do.
Democrats and Republicans at the legislature agree there should be a special session soon to help people getting hit with big health insurance premium increases on the MNsure exchange — but that’s about all the two sides agree on. House Speaker, Republican Kurt Daudt says, “Obamacare and MNsure are the problem. They are what’s causing this.” Daudt adds, “We had a hundred years of individual marketplace before this and it was a fairly stable marketplace. When the government got involved with Obamacare and MNsure, that’s when we had the problem.”
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Tom Bakk disagrees, not only with Daudt but with Governor Mark Dayton, who said the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable. Bakk says, “For 95 percent of people, and for the people that are able to access the tax credits in the [MNsure] exchange, I think this system is working.” He says under the Affordable Care Act, “If you’ve got kids, it’ll insure ’em up to the age of 26. Takes the lifetime caps off of insurance policies. Those are very, very important provisions to people.” Democrats propose tax credits for those seeing large premium increases. Governor Dayton has said he won’t call a special session before the election.
Here’s Bill Werner’s interview with House Speaker Daudt:
Excerpts from Majority Leader Bakk’s press conference Thursday: