For more information contact: Tyler Blackmon 651-296-8826
It’s been a challenging start to the session. Minnesota families continue to pay too much for health insurance, caught in the middle of an unstable system that leaves too many on the hook for premium increases. And it’s been frustrating seeing politics get in the way of providing necessary relief to thousands of families on the individual market.
Both parties see the need to act on the immediate problem in front of us—the huge increases those in the individual market are facing—so I have no doubt that we will find a way to provide some relief. The remaining question is how we will do it. Any solution must be quick, efficient, and transparent. There’s no point in providing premium relief if people can’t figure out how to access it, or if they’re forced to spend money they don’t have upfront. And certainly, we must ensure that we provide as much help as possible, at the lowest possible cost.
Unfortunately, the GOP plan relies on a complicated system of rebate checks, routed through multiple government agencies. Under their plan Minnesotans wouldn’t see relief until 2018. In fact, consumers won’t even find out how big the rebate checks will be for another year. And it’s no coincidence that the GOP would rather delay payments to voters until an election year. With too many Minnesotans already pinching pennies to cover childcare costs, their mortgage, tuition and student loan payments, we simply cannot wait another year to provide relief.
The DFL plan creates an easy, transparent solution that helps consumers now. It’s simple really: if we think people should pay less, we should charge them less. We can cut out the middle man by having the state work directly with insurance companies, meaning that Minnesotans on the individual insurance market would see a 25% reduction on their monthly bills with an immediate effective date.
I’m confident we’ll find a short-term solution, but we can’t stop there. Even before premium increases, too many Minnesotans had a hard time affording health care. We can’t be afraid of tackling the big challenges of creating a 21st century, high quality, affordable health care system for all Minnesotans. In 2014, I passed legislation that provided a public option for teachers across the state and since then teachers have seen their quality of insurance increase, while their premiums decrease. I’ll continue to fight for models that protect Minnesotans from debilitating healthcare costs and believe we can find a statewide model that provides consumers with high-quality care that doesn’t break their family bank.
No image galleries found