Good morning and happy Tuesday. Here’s the Digest.
1. The Minnesota House passed a bill Monday that is designed to keep premium prices down in the individual health care market by providing taxpayer support for insurance companies that have to pay expensive claims. The House version of the bill costs about $200 million per year. Democrats pushed an alternative that would allow people to buy into the MinnesotaCare program, but majority Republicans rejected that, arguing that it would hurt rural hospitals. (MPR News)
2. Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, is sponsoring legislation that would curtail the ability of pharmacy benefit managers to change a patient’s drug treatments. So far he has been unable to get a hearing on the bill from his House GOP colleagues. Hamilton has multiple sclerosis, and has to use a wheelchair. He says that’s because a pharmacy benefits manager has forced him to cut back on prescription medicine that his doctor has recommended. (Star Tribune)
3. The city of Minneapolis came down hard on the owner of a liquor store who got a jump on the new state law that allows Sunday sales. The Minneapolis license division slapped Jim Surdyk with a $2,000 fine and a 30 day license suspension for not waiting until the new state law takes effect to begin selling on Sundays. And Surdyk will have to watch his competitors sell on five Sundays as he takes the day off because his 30 day suspension begins on July 2nd, the very day the new law takes effect. In a written notice Grant Wilson, who supervises the license department, said Surdyk made multiple illegal sales Sunday and refused an order to stop. Although Surdyk can still appeal the penalty, Wilson warned him that any more Sunday sales will result in more penalties. (MPR News)
4. A new state report says dozens of 17-year-olds voted illegally in nearly 30 Wisconsin counties during last spring’s presidential primary. The Wisconsin Elections Commission report examined referrals municipal clerks made to prosecutors following the 2016 spring primary and general elections. The referrals included at least 60 cases of 17-year-olds voting in the April primary in 29 counties. The report doesn’t track whether charges were filed. (AP via Pioneer Press)
5. The House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would cause 14 million people to lose health insurance in 2018 and 24 million lose health insurance within a decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday. The American Health Care Act, as Republicans call their bill, was already facing widespread criticism from providers of health care, some conservatives, and a united Democratic Party. The numbers also show the plan would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over 10 years. (New York Times)