ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota’s top health care experts came to the Capitol with a sense of urgency, trying to understand why insurance rates for many ordinary Minnesotans on MNsure will suddenly rise up to 67 percent in January.
They are calling for a special session — soon.
“They really can’t wait for next year, or the next session,” said Rep. Matt Dean (R) of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee.
On Jan. 1, about 100,000 Minnesotans who make too much money to qualify for tax subsidies could see the cost of their out of pocket health care skyrocket to $3,000 a month — or more.
“We can’t really wait until January to get this thing figured out,” Dean said. “It’s not a political problem, it’s a health care problem for people. So I think that the urgency is now to try to find some relief for people.”
Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a $313 million fix — a rebate to consumers who spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care.
He said last week he’s ready to go, but now says legislative leaders haven’t yet accepted his plan.
“We have carried the ball all the way and all I am asking now of the two legislative leaders is to say, are you on board, or not?” Dayton said. “And if you’re not, then what’s your better idea? Otherwise are you just not willing to proceed now that the election’s over? We’ll see.”
The speaker of the house told WCCO Monday he has asked U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to seek the release of unclaimed federal funding for temporary aid to insurance companies who say they cannot afford to issue policies.
The governor’s office and the speaker of the house both say they want a Special Session very soon– perhaps before Thanksgiving.
But there’s no visible progress on it.