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Saint Paul, Minn. – Following debate in the Minnesota House of Representatives on short-term relief for consumers on the individual health insurance market, Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) is shifting her sights to the future of health care in Minnesota.
“Though today’s legislation was imperfect, we’re one step closer to short-term relief for families struggling to pay their health insurance premiums,” said Murphy. “But as we put the finishing touches on a short-term package, we must also look ahead to modernizing our health care system and better meeting the needs of Minnesotans.”
To that end, Murphy is now urging her colleagues in both parties to begin consideration of House File 92, first introduced by Rep. Clark Johnson (DFL-North Mankato), which would create a public insurance option for Minnesotans of all income levels.
“Minnesota families continue to be caught in the middle of an unstable system that leaves them scrambling to afford basic care, while insurance companies make record profits,” said Murphy. “A public option will increase competition and choice in the health care market and provide Minnesota families with a new affordable option for health insurance.”
As introduced, HF 92 would require the Commissioner of Human Services to seek a federal waiver expanding eligibility for MinnesotaCare, an option currently only available to select consumers whose incomes fall below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG). Current enrollees of MinnesotaCare would see no change to their coverage, but Minnesotans who make higher than 200 percent of FPG would have a new affordable option for coverage.
In many Minnesota counties, consumers in the individual market have only one health insurance plan from which to choose. These families, most of whom live in Greater Minnesota, would stand to gain the most from the introduction of a public insurance option.
"It is my hope that this Legislature will be open to solutions that assure affordable care for Minnesotans across the state," added Murphy.
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