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.

Comments (5)
  1. No special session. We are never safe when they meet.

  2. No problem. Mark can appeal to his voter base, ask them to share some of their abundant bounty, ask the over 10,000 non-white, illiterate, non-English speaking, unskilled, unemployable, malcontents he imports to the Twin Cities each year on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, and country of origin using the guise of refugee or asiliee: who are placed immediately on multi-generational welfare and entitled to free healthcare, free housing, EBT cards, cash payments, child care, interpreters, legal aid, schools, and social services, preferential hiring, training and promotion to share some of their extra free stuff. Ask them to share their free stuff with the now impoverished taxpayers of Minnesota who went broke providing all that free stuff for the Socialist Welfare Village.

  3. I am a part of the 5% of Minnesotan’s who is self employed and do not qualify for assistance. I am facing a 72% increase in my insurance policy which would put it close to the amount I pay for my mortgage. We have less than a month to sign up for 2017. My policy is through Medica but is limited to Mayo only. I can no longer see my Podiatrist I have seen for 20 years and I cannot choose to go to OMC. So I am looking at a policy that will cost me up to $18,000 a year out of pocket for limited options.

    Since the Election I have heard nothing about this Crisis? There was talk of rebates but it seems nothing is being done! The 5% of us need to know what is going to be done and soon! I am 59 years old and in reasonably good health. Would you spend the money for the restrictive policy or would you risk a catastrophic event and take the fine???

    We do not deserve this…

  4. Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

    In 2012, Rochester voters reauthorized $20 million in sales taxes toward DMC development.
    In May 2013, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation that included the finance tools and governance necessary to fund the public infrastructure for DMC. The legislation provided for $585 million in public investment, over the next 20 years, to support $5–$6 billion of private investments, over that same time period—all aimed at securing Rochester and Minnesota as a global medical destination.

    The people of Minnesota have put their trust in and their money behind Mayo Clinic’s plans for Destination Medical Center Rochester. To what reward? I ask.

    At the same time plans for the DMC were being formulated, the Mayo Clinic was building up its clout by getting rid of its competition. One by one, the Mayo Clinic acquired the clinics and hospitals that previously served the small towns and rural areas of southeastern Mn. The Mayo Clinic made themselves the dominant force in healthcare in this part of the state and surrounding areas. In point of fact, for many of us living in southeastern Minnesota the Mayo Clinic is the only healthcare provider available locally. That there is a negative effect to all this acquisition and control is evident in the current crisis being experienced with MnSure.

    If you wonder why your health insurance premiums have gone through the roof you have only to look as far as the Mayo Clinic for an answer. It is no accident there is only one insurer available to those seeking health insurance through MnSure, and it is no coincidence that that insurer is the one accepted and affiliated with the Mayo Clinic. Most telling is that the plans offered are all high cost compared to those offered to people living in other parts of the state where Mayo does not stand alone but has some competition.

    In the same vein, the Mayo Clinic has chosen to be a non participating provider for patients on Medicare,, Tricare, and even Military Veterans covered by insurance through the VA. Additionally, Mayo has chosen to outsource its food service employees and it is rumored that housekeeping employees with be next to go. All these outsourced contract employees will be losing their medical insurance with Mayo. I would guess that in the transition their salaries might drop while at the same time their out of pocket costs for local healthcare will increase dramatically. If this is the vision of the DMC it is a nightmare. On one hand, the Mayo Clinic courts public approval and financial support for Rochester as a Destination Medical Center. On the other hand, the Mayo Clinic has made local healthcare inaccessible and unaffordable for many Minnesotans who have lived and worked here in Minnesota all their lives. This is a complete disgrace.