has almost completed the process of health insurance reforms.
is the most significant, positive health care reform in Minnesota in the last
50 years," said bill author Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights. "This is
a clear compromise between the House and Senate positions on the exchange."
approved the bill and expected the Governor Mark Dayton to sign the proposal.
Minnesotans could use the online exchange to buy health insurance.
I see the governor's pen flying across the page, I'm not done," said Senate
author Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick. Lawmakers were to meet a March 22nd
deadline otherwise the Federal government would set up the exchange.
got a lot of unique tools in Minnesota, and a federal one-size-fits-all
exchange would not be able to leverage all of those assets we've worked so hard
collectively to build together," Lourey said of the push to set up a state
board would set the rules which the insurance companies would need to
it will take a year to implement, the state will eventually be able to
negotiate with insurers for the best plans, those that are higher quality and
more affordable," said Jamie Gulley, president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
state will fund the program, expected to cost roughly $60 million per year, by
withholding 1.5 percent of insurance premiums in the first year and 3.5 percent
after that. Loans could be taken from the state.
marketplace funding would take place from the tobacco tax in Minnesota
according to the Senate's original proposal.
Senate's original proposal would have funded the marketplace with money from
the tobacco tax in Minnesota.
was a major piece of discussion, Lourey said, but in the end he believes the
system is fair. "I think we have a bill that can work for industry and for people,"
of Minnesotans will buy health insurance, plus thousands who are not insured.
For those with no internet access people could visit in-person sites to buy
"It increases the size, the scope and the
power of government," said Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria. "This is going to
decimate the health care that we know and love in this great state."
bill started with more bipartisan support but now mainly is backed by
Democrats. Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, called the
not going to get any support outside the DFL caucus," he said.
Lourey understood why Republicans might not want to back
the bill; he felt there was enough room for bipartisan work with regard to
health care reforms to continue. "At the end of the day it's pretty hard (for
them) to embrace the cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act," he said.
Danielle Killey, Forum News Service, March 2013
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)