A two-year, $542 million proposal to subsidize insurance companies with high-risk customers will become law after Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday he wouldn’t sign nor veto it.
HF5*/ SF720, sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), crossed Dayton’s desk after both chambers passed the bill last week. Facing a three-day deadline to sign or veto the bill, the governor announced in a letter to legislative leaders that he wouldn’t do either, effectively allowing the bill to become law. Most of the law will take effect Tuesday.
Citing a number of concerns over the plan’s funding methodology, no MinnesotaCare buy-in and a lack of public commitment from insurance companies, Dayton said that although the bill is far from ideal, something has to be done to heal the surging individual premiums.
“However, I agree with you, this bill's authors, and those legislative leaders, who believe that this subsidy must be committed to the health insurance industry at this time, to try to induce their participation in Minnesota's Individual Market in 2018 at the lowest possible rates,” Dayton wrote. “Thus I will allow this measure to become law by not acting upon it within the requisite three days, which end at midnight tonight.”
The law will require the Department of Commerce to seek a “State Innovation Waiver” from the federal government – a request under the Affordable Care Act that “innovates” how states can insure more residents. If the Trump administration agrees, Minnesota could see federal health care money help its reinsurance plan.
But if the federal government doesn’t give the state’s reinsurance bill the green light, the law will become void.
Under the bill, once an insurance company hits $50,000 in claims, it would be eligible for an 80 percent subsidy up to $250,000. Because an estimated 2.2 percent of Minnesotans on the individual market comprise 40 percent of its medical costs, insurance companies covering those costs raise premiums on everyone else. Proponents see the reinsurance program as an incentive for insurance companies to reduce premiums.
The bill passed the House 74-57 and the Senate 35-32.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
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