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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Erin Koegel (DFL)

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Legislative Update - January 17, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Earlier this month I was sworn in as the new State Representative for District 37A which covers parts of Blaine, Coon Rapids, and my home of Spring Lake Park. This is such a tremendous honor, and I’m looking forward to building bipartisan relationships in order to deliver results for our state and our communities. I’ve been appointed to three House committees: Health and Human Services Reform, the Subcommittee on Childcare Access and Affordability, and Transportation and Regional Governance Policy.

As we begin the session, our state economy is in a sound position, with low unemployment and a $1.4 billion budget surplus. Many families don’t feel as if they are experiencing this success though, and they face particular challenges in their own economic situations. One of these is the skyrocketing costs of health insurance premiums faced by those in individual marketplace.

Some Minnesotans are seeing increases in the neighborhood of 59 percent, a number which is frankly unacceptable. Legislators from both parties as well as Governor Dayton have recognized the urgency of providing these folks immediate relief on their premiums. The plan currently rushing through the Legislature contains some substantial changes to our health insurance system, and wouldn’t get relief to Minnesotans until 2018. It also creates a $20 million bureaucratic system that would be used for just one year. This isn’t a responsible approach.

I support the only proposal which would give premium relief to Minnesotans right away: Governor Dayton's plan which would provide these individuals a 25 percent rebate on their premiums. I think we should pass this right away. To be clear, we need to explore reforms to our health insurance and health care delivery systems, but these changes will require thorough vetting and input from all of those effected, including insurers, health care professionals, and members of the public. But these reforms can’t get in the way of premium relief now, and I hope we can deliver this very soon.

Throughout session, I hope you will stay in touch with your thoughts and ideas about these and other issues. In order for me to best advocate for our community in the House of Representatives, frequent input from the public will be invaluable. I encourage you to email or call me any time; my email address is rep.erin.koegel@house.mn and my phone number at the Capitol is 651-296-5369.

I thank my neighbors for the opportunity to serve; this is a responsibility I don’t take lightly. It’s an honor to represent you.

Sincerely,

Erin Koegel

State Representative

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