I hope you had a great Easter with your loved ones. While I enjoyed Easter with my family, I spent the week preceding it traveling across our district meeting with constituents, hearing their thoughts on session so far, and letting them know what we've done and what we plan to do the rest of session. Here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks as well as an explanation of the conference committee process and another update on health care relief and reform.
Rep. Grossell (left) and Rep. Fabian (right) visited the Angle Inlet school during the legislative break
The Angle Inlet school children loved the State Capitol Hats we brought.
Conference Committees Begin Work
The House and Senate passed all of the budget omnibus bills that will fund state government and its essential duties over the next two years before we recessed for Passover and Easter Break.
The next step is now conference committees where appointed House and Senate members are beginning to compare similar provisions in the bills and negotiate to come up with a final compromise. My hope is that Governor Dayton and his agencies also participate in the conference committee process so that we can work through our differences to come to a final agreement.
House Public Services wrote an article about the entire process you can read here.
Health Care Relief & Reform
Obamacare and MNsure devastated many Minnesota families and left our state’s once nation-leading health care system in disarray. Over the past few months, my colleagues and I have heard from families from around Minnesota who have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket. While Washington seems to have put health care reform on the back burner, we have made good progress in the Minnesota on this issue.
The first bill, the Emergency Aid & Access act provided emergency relief for 130,000 Minnesotans, delivering 25% premium reduction that will be seen by those who qualify as early as this month. The law also includes reforms to ensure continued access to doctors for people receiving life-saving treatment; provide affordable options for small businesses and their employees; increase competition and options on the individual market; protect patients from unfair billing practices; and allow organizations with member owners – such as farm cooperatives – to provide health insurance to their members.
The second bill, the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, is designed to stabilize premiums by mitigating the impact of high risk individuals, or those who are the most sick, on the individual health insurance market. Even Governor Dayton’s administration estimated this reform could reduce premium rates by 20 percent in 2018 and beyond. We also included a key requirement that insurers make available plans with access to more than one network of doctors and hospitals, increasing affordable options for consumers.
Great to catch up with my old team and meet a few new faces undergoing the SWAT training.
These are the people keeping us safe.
Have a great weekend,