Dayton wants decision soon on health care fix

Gov. Mark Dayton said he wants a decision Monday on whether to move forward with a health care-related special session. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is growing increasingly frustrated over the lack of progress toward a special session to address rising health insurance costs.

Dayton challenged House Republicans Wednesday to “quit dilly-dallying” and decide whether they want to provide some premium relief before Jan. 1, to Minnesotans who are facing big increases in 2017 for individual market coverage.

During a news conference Wednesday, Dayton stressed that time is running out. He said he wants an answer from GOP leaders Monday, when his staff is scheduled to meet with House and Senate leaders to discuss the issue.

“These people are waiting,” Dayton said. “They’re making decisions now whether or not they can afford to enroll. They deserve to know already but certainly immediately whether or not we’re going to come in and help them out, or whether people are just going to posture about it, talk about and not do anything about it.”

Dayton is proposing a one-year, 25 percent premium reduction for individuals who do not qualify for existing federal tax credits.

House Republicans are proposing just a one-month, 20 percent reduction to start. In a letter sent to Dayton this week, four House GOP committee chairs said their plan would provide time to work out a “broader and more targeted relief program” for the remainder of 2017 based on income. They also want to allow eligible recipients to use the money for deductibles and out-of-network costs.

Dayton said his plan, while imperfect, is the only viable proposal ready for quick action before the 2017 regular session begins Jan 3.

“If we’re going to do this and give that assurance to people who need it, then they’ve got to act,” he said.

  • Gary F

    Why the emergency now? He knew it was bad when he signed the bill?

  • Veteran Patriot

    Eat a serving or three of Crow on Thanksgiving guvna! You also felt it was initially an emergency to sign the damn thing.

    • Conservative-Veteran

      LM this is CM. Recognize your post.

  • Ralphy

    Looking forward to the Republican’s proposals for a solution.
    I hope that at least on this one issue the parties can listen to each other, view the issue as a problem to be solved rather than an opportunity to score political points, set their partisanship and quest for power aside, and work together as a problem solving team to craft the best possible program.