Expect a big push at the Minnesota Legislature this week as lawmakers try to move forward with an assistance package for those hit with big health insurance premium increases on MNsure. There are significant differences between the proposal Governor Mark Dayton rolled out last week and a competing Republican plan. Both propose the state pay to reduce premiums 25 percent for qualifying individuals — but while Dayton wants to do it for all of 2017, Republicans say after the first three months there should be income limitations. Beyond that, Republicans are also asking for what they call first steps in long-term reforms, which they say will reduce health insurance premium increases next year. Dayton and Democrats say those issues are complicated and health insurance premium relief should not be held up while lawmakers debate them. It’s not clear whether long term reforms are “must haves” for Republicans for the aid package to move forward.
Greatly complicating the issue is that it’s not clear yet what the new Congress and the incoming Trump administration will do about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The state and federal health care and health insurance systems are tightly linked, and there’s a chance that federal actions could invalidate something the state does, or make it unworkable.