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Why did the MNGOP acquiesce on MNsure?

by Dan Burns on February 1, 2017

singlepayerPremium relief got passed into law last week.

The following is a statement from Governor Mark Dayton.

“In order to provide urgently-needed health insurance premium relief to 125,000 Minnesotans, I am signing this essential legislation today. I do not agree with everything included in it. I have said repeatedly that I think it is unnecessary and unwise to rush the ‘reforms’ added to this bill, without proper public review or full consideration of their consequences. I am especially concerned that the change to allow foreign and for-profit insurers into the Minnesota market has not been adequately reviewed, and I ask the legislature to seriously re-evaluate this provision, when future health care legislation is considered.


I haven’t been able to find a detailed discussion of what the GOP did get, with the limited time and patience that I have available right now. But I know that it didn’t get the horrifying Draz wish-list.
I suppose that it’s actually pretty straightforward.
– For years, forces led by the Minnesota Party of Trump and the pathologically MNsure-bashing Minneapolis Star Tribune have been making political hay of the premium increases, despite the relatively small number of Minnesotans actually affected when federal subsidies are taken into account.* With this, the GOP gets to present themselves as the saviors, and are happy to do so, because:
– They figure MNsure will be history soon anyway, as the ACA is repealed at the federal level.
It’s so simple that even most elected right-wingers can process it. And, sadly, it probably is a political win for them. Hopefully not enough of one to make a dent in the anti-Trump backlash in 2018/2020, but I’m not confident of any sort of positive political outlook, right now.

The rate increases will only affect the 5 percent of Minnesotans who buy their own health insurance through the MnSure exchange and who do not get it from their employer…
MNsure CEO Allison O’Toole said that rising premiums can in many cases be reduced by federal tax credits if consumers enroll through MNsure. Two-thirds of enrollees are eligible for a credit.
(Mankato Free Press)

In other words, about 1.7% of Minnesotans actually got drilled. I’m not suggesting that they weren’t looking at real pain, or weren’t deserving of the measure of relief that they’re finally getting. Just pointing out that these facts weren’t exactly highlighted in most media coverage of the issue. And that in the bigger picture nearly everyone is paying too much, in order to subsidize the utterly amoral profits-before-people agenda of the greedheads.)

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