Gov. Dayton makes another push for affordable healthcare

Governor Dayton is pushing the legislature one more time to let more people buy-in to MinnesotaCare to get affordable health insurance. But so far, the legislature has no interest.

The governor made this part of his State of the State Address earlier this spring and believes that letting people buy-in to MinnesotaCare could help an additional 100,000 Minnesotans get affordable insurance.

MinnesotaCare is the state’s health insurance plan for low-income individuals and families. Dayton believes expanding it would provide relief to other families such as the Romsdahls.

The Romsdahls are farmers in southwestern Minnesota who are paying $33,000 a year for their health coverage.

“Some of our neighbors have already dropped their health insurance, and I pray nothing catastrophic happens to them. We are very desperate for the legislature to give this a try - work for the people, not the insurance companies,” Brian Romsdahl said.  

“This is not about me. I’ve got health insurance. This is about people like the Romsdahls who can’t afford what’s available to them now and can’t afford not to have coverage, and we put them under tremendous emotional and financial stress which the legislature is just turning its back on,” Dayton said.
But the chair of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee said the governor’s plan would cut reimbursement rates to hospitals by 50 percent.

Representative Matt Dean said that alone could force rural hospitals and clinics to close.

Rep. Dean said the governor’s plan is going nowhere and that house republicans want to focus on shoring up the individual market as a way of providing more options to families, businesses and farms.