Republican backers said the bill will help attract more insurance providers to the market and drive down soaring premium costs. Minnesotans who buy insurance on the individual market, rather than getting it from their employers, have seen their premiums rise by more than 50 percent in recent years.
"This bill as being presented is a good start in trying to make a difference," he said.
The plan was roundly challenged by DFLers, who were concerned about the bill's funding sources. In each of the next two years,
Lawmakers hope to use federal funds to cover another
"We're going to need every nickel of the
DFL lawmakers also questioned spending so much on a program that does not require insurance companies to make any guarantees about lowering insurance premiums.
The bill's author, Sen.
"I'm not going to stand here and say that we can guarantee this," he said. "There's no guarantees in this business ... I think [lower premiums] are going to happen, but I'm also going to have this caveat."
Under that plan, the state would open its MinnesotaCare program to people with higher incomes. Those people would pay the full cost of premiums. DFLers said such an offering would guarantee an insurance option to people in parts of the state that have been abandoned by private insurance companies.
A similar plan was rejected by the House on Monday, when that chamber approved its own reinsurance bill. The house plan would cost
(c)2017 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.