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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim O'Driscoll (R)

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Legislative Update 2-15-19

Friday, February 15, 2019

Greetings,

Things continue to move rather slowly in the Minnesota House. One bright spot is the newfound support to continue reinsurance.

 

REINSURANCE AND LOWERING HEALTH CARE COSTS

Two years ago Minnesota applied for a waiver from the federal government allowing reinsurance to take place in Minnesota. This week, on a bipartisan basis, the Minnesota House Commerce Committee voted to continue this successful Republican-led initiative.

We approved the law in order to help lower the cost of health insurance for those purchasing plans on the individual market. It’s worked, as all five carriers on the individual market lowered premiums for 2019, with average rates dropping between 7.4 percent and 27.7 percent.

We need to move quickly on reinsurance, as the Legislature needs to have redetermination finished by early April for insurance carriers as they prepare to set premium rates for the year 2020.

 

REVENUE DECLINES FOR JANUARY

Lawmakers recently learned that incoming state revenue expectations were lower than anticipated. In December, economic experts projected Minnesota would face a $1.5 billion budget surplus. Since then, the projections have been decreasing. I would not be surprised if we see a reduction in our projected surplus when the next economic forecast is unveiled in early March.

 

CAPITOL VISITORS

I was pleased that the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Evening at the Capitol” event was again a success!

I had a nice visit with Dr. Stacy Hinkemeyer- Colatrella, Dr. Nicholas Colatrella, and Dr. Trevor Fosso who stopped by my office during Minnesota Optometric Day at the Capitol.

Other visitors this week included

  • Steve Schwieters from Farm Mutual Insurance
  • Benton and Stearns County commissioners and staff
  • Stearns County Parks and Trails staff
  • Randy Schreifels of the Minnesota Association of County Officers
  • Dr. Kim Tjaden and other central Minnesota doctors who were here representing the Minnesota Medical Association.

If you know of anyone who would like to receive future email updates, forward this email to them and have them sign up here. Also, if you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me at either 651-296-7808 or rep.tim.odriscoll@house.mn.


Sincerely,
 
Tim

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