MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton says that while MNsure’s affordability is a real problem, it’s not as bad as Republicans make it out to be.
On WCCO Sunday Morning, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt said that the Democratic proposal to make MNsure more affordable would leave 130,000 people without coverage.
The governor says that’s simply not sure. Even so, Daudt isn’t backing down.
As to who’s right? Well, it’s complicated.
It’s true that more than 100,000 people are losing their current health insurance plans, mostly because Blue Cross Blue Shield pulled out of the individual insurance market.
Yet, it’s also true all those people will have a chance to purchase other plans.
The question is: Will these plans be affordable?
Minnesota dairy farmers David and Ann Buck think Daudt is right.
“This is a crisis,” Ann Buck said. “There will be people on Jan. 1 who will not be insured.”
The Bucks are among those who got cancellation notices from Blue Cross effective Dec. 31. They currently pay $1,600 a month in premiums with a $13,000 deductible for their family of four.
They have been told next year their monthly premiums will jump to $3,300 a month with the same deductible. That would mean $40,000 in premiums — something the Bucks say they cannot afford.
“It’s insane,” David Buck said.
The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that more than 100,000 people could qualify for MNsure tax credits but don’t take them.
However, the Bucks are among the 98,000 Minnesotans that MNsure estimates make too much money to qualify for those breaks.
For a family of four, anyone making under $97,000 qualifies for a tax credit. For an individual, it’s anyone making under $47,000.
Both House Republicans and House Democrats are proposing a temporary fix that would provide rebates for those hit hardest.
Dayton agrees a fix is needed, but says it will have to wait until after the election.
Daudt says that is too late.
“We cannot wait another minute to start talking about this,” he said.
The governor’s office is calling out Daudt’s fix, saying the $57 million in funding for rebates Daudt is proposing is way too little to help individuals.
The governor estimates rolling back the 2017 premiums to what they are this year would cost $590 million.
Both Minnesota’s U.S. Senators weighed in today.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar says their needs to be a bi-partisan fix at both the state and federal level.
Sen. Al Franken says he is working on a proposal to stabilize the insurance markets and he would like to see a public option made available along the lines of Medicare.