Legislation giving a state-paid 25-percent discount during 2017 to those hit with big health insurance premium increases is headed to the desk of Governor Mark Dayton, who’s expected to sign it, after the Senate and House passed the compromise bill today. Republican Senator Michelle Benson from Ham Lake choked back tears on the Senate floor saying, “To the farmers and small business owners, to the entrepeneurs on our main streets who are worried, we are listening. We are doing our very best to get you help today.”
Benson added “this is the beginning of many discussions on health reform.” By passing the bill today, some lawmakers reluctantly agreed to allowing for-profit H-M-O’s to sell health insurance policies in Minnesota. But the even more contentious issue of “re-insurance” remains for later in the session. Lawmakers will debate whether the state should pay for care for very ill patients, in an attempt to hold down insurance premiums for everyone else.