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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Grossell (R)

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Health care relief is on its way

Friday, January 27, 2017


This week Governor Mark Dayton collapsed and was escorted off the floor during his State of the State address. He has since informed us all that he has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I hope you will join me in continuing to pray for the Governor’s health and recovery moving forward.

Governor Signs Health Care Premium Relief Bill
Health care premium relief was one of my top priorities and following months of work we have delivered the first piece of health care premium relief along with key reforms that Minnesotans need. In total, the relief package totaling almost $327 million will be taken from the budget reserves. Here is a quick overview of the bill that passed the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Dayton on late Thursday:

  • $311,945,000.00 in premium relief will go to Minnesotans who purchased health care in the individual market.

  • Anyone who purchased coverage from the individual market will receive a 25 percent discount on their premium invoices.

  • $15 million will go to guaranteeing continuity-of-care for those currently undergoing life-saving treatment for an extra 120 days.

Reforms were also included to increase access and choices to begin to avoid out-of-control premium increases happening again. These are the first set of reforms with many more proposals for reform to come.

  • Increase transparency by requiring the publishing of preliminary rate filings within 10 days of receiving them. This will make sure we won’t be blindsided again by huge rate increases so late in the year. If this requirement had been in place, the Legislature could have taken action to improve the 2017 market.
  • Improve Access by allowing dropping the requirement that only non-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota. This will allow for more choices in Minnesota’s market. It will also makes it easier for small businesses to offer affordable plans by making changes to stop loss requirements for small businesses.
  • Improve Choices in Greater Minnesota by creating a simplified way for agricultural cooperatives to offer group health insurance to their members. The bill also has a provision that will create an appeal process for waivers that are granted to insurers. It gives patients and providers in areas like ours an additional resource to fight for accessibility.
  • End to surprise billing from health care providers. Surprise billing is when an in-network provider uses an out-of-center provider, such as an anesthesiologist or lab for tests, and bills the patient for out-of-network cost.

Civil Liability for Illegal Protest

I have signed on to as a co-author of a bill that will give the state, city, or county the ability to bring suit against an individual who has been convicted of violating Minnesota’s protest law. Thus, it allows a police department to be able to sue for the costs that was required to deal with an illegal protest.

This is a matter of public safety. When a freeway is shutdown causing a traffic jam or detour, that is costly and dangerous for emergency personnel. First for the police officers who put their own lives on the line to protect the protesters from being harmed by oncoming traffic. And second, for emergency vehicles forced to use an alternate, slower route or are simply stuck in traffic due to these illegal protests. These protests have become expensive for cities and counties and they should have the ability to recoup costs.

Please continue to stay in touch to share our thoughts or concerns. My phone number is 651-296-4265 or you can email me at

Have a great weekend,