This week the Senate fast-tracked Senate File 1 through four committee hearings and voted on the Senate floor. The bill provides for health insurance premium relief for some Minnesotans purchasing their coverage through the individual health insurance market and includes several health insurance reform initiatives.
Providing premium relief to Minnesotans who are struggling with sky-rocketing health insurance premiums is an idea supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. However, the plan supported by Republicans this week does not work. They are proposing to build an entirely new bureaucracy, which will mean more red tape for Minnesotans, and most importantly, it would delay urgently-needed premium relief until 2018.
Minnesotans need relief now, not later. Under a proposal introduced by Governor Dayton more than 70 days ago and offered by Senate Democrats as an amendment, Minnesotans purchasing insurance on the individual market would see an immediate 25% reduction on their premiums in 2017. It is the fastest and most efficient way to keep more money in the pockets of Minnesotans who are struggling to absorb the massive premium increases.
By fast-tracking Senate File 1, Republicans are attempting to overhaul the health insurance marketplace overnight and cut Minnesotans out of the conversation about how best to reform our health care system. Additional reforms should be carefully considered, receive public input, and not jeopardize Minnesotans’ and the state’s financial futures.
Senate File 1 now awaits a vote in the House. (S.F. 1)