Dayton pressures legistators for special session to fix MNsure

With premiums on the rise for MNsure plans set to kick in on Jan. 1, Gov. Mark Dayton putting the pressure on GOP lawmakers for a special session to address those costs.

At the Capitol on Wednesday, Dayton seemed utterly astonished. It has been two weeks since Election Day and there has been no movement on a special session to provide MNsure rate relief, which the Republicans spent the weeks leading up to the election demanding.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt was among them, suggesting at a news conference in late October that Dayton resign if it was not his top priority.

“Well I'm not going to resign and we have been working around the clock,” Dayton said. “We've got a specific proposal and it's far from perfect, but it's the only one on the table that's viable.”

In mid-October, Daudt held several days of listening sessions where Minnesotans could testify about the skyrocketing premiums they could not pay.

Days later, Dayton unveiled his proposal: $313 million from the rainy day fund to subsidize premiums for one year.

Now, one month later, Dayton is beginning to wonder if the Republicans really meant all that.

“Quit kicking the can around and admit this is campaign rhetoric and they don't want to help anybody,” Dayton said Wednesday.

On Monday, Republican leaders sent Dayton a letter outlining what they would like, including a subsidy for January only, and they would figure out the rest in the regular session.

Other ideas, Dayton says, would be tough to flesh out in the next month.

The governor has invited Republican leaders to meet on Monday afternoon to try and get closer to a deal to help MNsure customers.