ST. PAUL, Minn.— Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) responded to numerous claims made by House Republicans at a press conference Wednesday afternoon on MNsure.
“As long-time champions of better health care access and coverage for all Minnesotans, the current rate hikes for MNsure are extremely troubling to the Senate DFL. There is no denying that changes must be made. But it is also important to point out that Republicans total opposition to Obamacare and MNsure has led us down this path.
Last session Senate Democrats heard and passed three separate proposals all aimed at reducing the price of premiums. These bills did the following:
- Sought federal approval to reduce the number of geographic rating areas. These federally mandated geographic ratings have contributed to higher rates in much of rural Minnesota. Bill chief authored by Sen. Matt Schmit (DFL-Red Wing).
- To increases choices, we introduced legislation directing Minnesota to apply for a federal waiver making it possible for all Minnesotans to purchase MinnesotaCare. By adding a new health plan (rated statewide) all rural families win with greater choice and lower cost. Bill chief authored by Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato).
- Requested a federal waiver to allow families, with employer provided health care, to include the premiums for family plans in their calculations when determining if they are eligible for a tax subsidy. This measure allows families that currently do not qualify for premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions to reduce the cost of their plan. Bill chief authored by Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna).
We are glad House and Senate Republicans want to work together to find solutions to these problems, we just wish they had come to the table sooner. We look forward to working hard this fall and next session to provide relief for thousands of hardworking Minnesotans.”