Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Gina Vega 651-296-5526

Posted: 2017-03-16
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- March 16, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

On Monday, the House passed a ‘reinsurance’ bill that creates a program to subsidize big insurance companies. The measure establishes an 11 member board to administer the program – with a majority of board members representing insurance companies – to backfill the cost of large healthcare claims. The program would be funded by the Health Care Access Fund, which currently funds MinnesotaCare. Representative Davids, who authored the bill, said he doesn’t know the impact of their bill, meaning a nearly $400 million giveaway to insurance companies with no guarantee it will reduce premiums, stabilize the market, or increase access for Minnesotans.  I have heard from many constituents who have expressed real concerns about the impact of this plan, and its significant consequences. 

House Democrats have a more affordable option to provide health care coverage to a greater number of Minnesotans by allowing the public to ‘buy-in’ to MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare is a successful plan that has existed in Minnesota for 25 years. The buy-in would provide more affordable choices for an additional 100,000 Minnesotans who are currently in the individual market. Participant’s premiums would cover the entire cost of their policies, meaning there would be no ongoing cost to taxpayers.

Those living outside the Twin Cities Metro would have access to a broad network of physicians and care providers available through MinnesotaCare. This would give families more choice in selecting their health care providers – instead of the narrow network currently available.

I am encouraging the House Majority to consider another option and give our bill a hearing in the House; it’s our job as legislators to provide Minnesotans choices and options to improve their health and I’m committed to doing so.

Upcoming Events in the District

Community Listening Session This Saturday

Senator Kent and I will be hosting a community listening session this Saturday, March 18 at the Oakdale Library from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.  I hope you can make it and that you’ll bring your questions and ideas.  These listening sessions are valuable for me to learn more about what is important to you and our community.

Woodbury Heritage Fair: Happy 50th Birthday, Woodbury!

On Saturday, March 25, the Community Foundation will host a Heritage Fair from 5:00-9:00 p.m. in Central Park.  This free event will allow participants to learn more about the history of Woodbury and enjoy a fun evening with food, music and games for the entire family.  For more details, you may click here

Constituents Visit

Yesterday, I met with constituents and friends from REM and others who were visiting the Capitol for Disability Services Day on the Hill. These faithful caregivers do a tremendous job serving adults with disabilities by promoting independence with professional oversight.

House Image

I also had the opportunity to meet with community members of MAPE, an independent union of primarily State of Minnesota professional employees.

I appreciate your emails, phone calls and letters.  Please continue to keep me updated on your views and input.  Thank you for feedback.


JoAnn Ward   

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn