St. Paul, Minn.—Following a floor vote of 35-31 in the Minnesota Senate, Senator Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) and Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement.
“Legislators on both sides of the aisle promised to rush relief to Minnesotans facing significant premium increases, today Republican legislators broke that promise. The bill that passed will not get urgently needed relief to Minnesotans, it forces people to wait until 2018 at the earliest to see relief. Minnesotans simply cannot wait. These so-called reform proposals are a mess, we do not have proper accounting of the spending, the reinsurance pool only has funding for one year, and the additional red tape and bureaucracy will create more problems than it will resolve,” said Hayden.
“More than 125,000 Minnesotans need premium relief now. Majority Leader Gazelka stated this bill will be sent to Gov. Dayton by the end of the month. If that is the case, premium relief will be too late to help most of those in need because open enrollment closes on January 31st. This would risk some Minnesotans foregoing insurance coverage due to the cost. DFL Senators have been working to pass reforms to Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace for several years, unfortunately last years’ recommendations were not accepted by Republicans in the House. We look forward to working with Republicans to responsibly vet these major changes they have proposed and hope they will do so in a more open and transparent way going forward,” said Lourey.
Senate File 1 has been sent to the Republican-controlled House for consideration. Republicans have stated they anticipate a conference committee will work through the significant differences in the two bills, which will continue to keep Minnesotans waiting for premium relief.