Republicans in the Minnesota Senate on Thursday chose Nisswa Senator Paul Gazelka as their majority leader, after the GOP won a narrow one-seat majority in Tuesday’s election. Gazelka says on health care Republicans want major reform, but also must work with Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. He notes the governor said “Obamacare was now unaffordable. I mean, he used different words but… I have met with a number of his people already…. I feel like there’s some openness on their part to bring about some of the reforms we need to drive down the cost and increase access.”
Gazelka says he wants “substantial reform” to deal with skyrocketing health insurance premiums. He adds he’s open to the governor’s proposal of some relief up front for people hit with big increases, “but we have to do those things I think simultaneously, to really make sure that we’re heading the right direction a year from now as well.” Gazelka says he’s open to having a special session before the end of the year — if they can actually come up with ideas by then to reform the system.
Gazelka also pledges to pass a reasonable state budget and put an end to what he calls “silly spending.”
Here’s Bill Werner’s complete interview with the new majority leader: