ST. PAUL, MN—On a bipartisan vote of 73-54, the Minnesota House approved the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill (Senate File 1) which provides direct premium relief and preserves access to life-saving and end-of-life care. While lawmakers work toward long-term state and federal health insurance reforms, this legislation institutes immediate consumer-driven improvements that stand alone and will not be impacted by those future changes.
“This is one of those issues where time is of the essence to help people who are being crushed by health insurance increases that have reached crisis level,” said Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin. “MNsure was sold as a program that would provide easy access to affordable insurance, but reality has been the complete opposite. The bill we passed will be an improvement by providing premium relief, preserving care and increasing people’s options.”
"Our plan provides emergency premium aid while preserving access for life-saving care for thousands of Minnesotans struggling under the effects of Obamacare," said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. "Minnesotans know we need to start fixing this problem now so we don't find ourselves in the same situation next year. Republicans have and will continue to lead on this issue and offer concrete solutions to fix the health care mess Democrats created."
House Republicans' plan offers a 25 percent premium reduction for those Minnesotans who need it most -- individuals who earn between $35,640 & $95,040 and families of four who earn between $72,900 & $194,400 who live in Minnesota qualify. In addition, it allows for patients with serious illnesses or those receiving end-of-life care to continue seeing their doctor. Lastly, the plan increases affordable options through timely reforms that stand independent of impending federal action.
The bill is expected to enter conference committee where differences between the Senate and House versions will be reconciled.