Minnesotans still don't have health-insurance relief as Dayton, lawmakers haggle over how to make it happen
January 16, 2017
If both Republicans and Democrats agree that the state should pass $300 million in relief for Minnesotans struggling to pay their health insurance, why is it taking months to pass it?
Part of the dispute reflects genuine disagreements about the best way to deliver 25 percent rebate checks to the roughly 120,000 Minnesotans facing soaring health insurance premiums on the individual market but not eligible for federal subsidies. Different options could get relief out faster or could let the state more closely direct the aid to the people who need it most.
But a big part of it is a dispute over process. Republican lawmakers insist that provisions aimed at stabilizing the 2018 insurance market should be passed in the same bill as the emergency relief. Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL lawmakers say reforms and relief should be tackled separately, with relief coming first.