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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Duane Quam (R)

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News from Rep. Quam (4-1-16)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hello from the State Capitol,

The fourth week of the 2016 legislative session has come to a close and the first committee deadline was Friday. Thus, much of the week was dominated by committee work with numerous bills having to move through the legislative process to be allowed further consideration.

A bill came before the Health and Human Services Reform Committee on Tuesday to address another serious issue from MNsure.

You may recall a news story from earlier this year telling the plight of Minnesota homeowners who were shocked to learn that estate liens had been placed on their homes after signing up for insurance through MNsure.

More specifically, for individuals who signed up for MNsure and qualified for the state’s version of Medicaid—Medical Assistance—and are 55 and older, the state placed an estate claim on their property.

People are being blindsided with this news long after they were forced to acquire unwanted health coverage due to Obamacare. The debate was how to help these people out and force MNsure to be more honest and forthcoming with its estate lien information.

House File 3615 would prohibit the state from making recovery from the estates of these individuals, and if recoveries have been made, to fully reimburse these individuals or their families.

This is just a continuation of the education we have received on this program. At times I feel that the most honest and transparent thing they have done, was the dropping of ' Patient Protection ' from the title 'Patient Protection Affordable Care Act '

What bothers me most, is that so much bashing of the private sector has happened, but this newest travesty would not have happened in the private sector. Current regulations would have required forms be signed and notifications given.

In the future we need to guarantee that any government programs by the state, have to follow the same rules that we force others to, in order to protect our citizens. Our citizens deserve that kind of consideration and respect from the state.

The committee also heard legislation that requires estate lien notice and consent to be given to residents before they sign up for Medical Assistance services.

There were a number of groups that visited my office in St. Paul this week including folks from the Minnesota Insurance Financial Services Council, students from the University of Minnesota, and the Civil Air Patrol.

In other news, last week the House passed a bill extending unemployment benefits for steelworkers on the Iron Range—many of whom have been out of work for weeks. In total, it is estimated that nearly 2,100 workers are out of work due to the economic downturn on the Range.

Additionally, the House passed a bill that corrects the state’s over-funded Unemployment Insurance fund. This correction will afford small businesses a $258 million insurance premium credit —allowing them to reinvest in their employees.

Please make sure to contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9236 or via email at

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend,