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: Susie Merthan 651-296-2955

Posted: Mar 12 2013 5:10PM
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2013 Session Update: March 12

Dear neighbor,

We are fast approaching policy deadlines at the Capitol.  Bills must make it through policy committees by the deadline in order to be considered for final passage into law.

Health Insurance Exchange

The House and Senate have passed Health Insurance Exchange bills and now differences between the two bills are being worked out so the bill can become law.  The exchange is an online marketplace where Minnesotans will be able to compare and purchase health insurance.  We are acting quickly on this legislation because if Minnesota fails to pass this by March 31, the Federal government will step in and establish a one-size-fits-all exchange.  We have chosen to implement our own exchange so that it fits the needs and expectations of Minnesota families.

Minnesota has historically been a leader in healthcare and the exchange gives us the opportunity to lead once again.  Our system will be more efficient and cost-effective than the one-size-fits-all Federal exchange.  The exchange will be self-funded through a small fee withheld from premiums between two and three percent.

Middle-class families are expected to save over $1 billion by using the exchange, and 300,000 uninsured Minnesotans are projected to gain coverage through the exchange by 2016.  The exchange will also help small business employers provide coverage to their employees.  The goal of the insurance exchange is to broaden coverage and lower costs and this will result in healthier communities and a stronger Minnesota.

Town Hall Meetings

I want to thank everyone who attended the Woodbury town hall meeting Saturday with Congresswoman McCollum, Senator Kent, Representative Kieffer and me.  We had a great discussion on the issues facing our area and our state.  I will keep you posted on upcoming meetings and events in the future.

Finally, please contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns.  I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-7807 or by email at rep.joann.ward@house.mn.  If you haven’t already, you can take my legislative survey online here:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5GFHYSG.



JoAnn Ward

State Representative

Maplewood, Woodbury, Oakdale and Landfall

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