Skip to main content

House passes Minn. health exchange, Senate to vote Thursday

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Minnesota House Democrats voted 72-58 Monday to pass the Minnesota health exchange, the Pioneer Press reports.

Only one Republican voted in favor and one Democrat voted against.

The bill establishes an online marketplace and call center for Minnesotans to comparison shop for health insurance, a key provision of the federal health care overhaul. More than one million people and small businesses are expected to use the health exchange to purchase coverage.

Gov. Mark Dayton has secured $110 million in federal grants to get the program up and running. By 2016, MPR says the exchange is expected to cost the state $60 million a year to operate.

Opponents say the program is not worth the long-term costs to the state.

"There are three things Minnesotans are about ready to experience. The first one is less choice. The second one is more cost. The third one is no privacy.” Rep. Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine, tells the Star Tribune.

If the Legislature does not approve a plan for a state-run health exchange by the end of this month, Minnesotans will have to use a federal health exchange.

USA TODAY reports 26 states, including Wisconsin, have defaulted to federal exchanges.

The Senate will vote Thursday on its version of the bill, which differs in how it funds the ongoing operations of the marketplace.

The House bill includes a user tax by withholding a fraction of premiums for insurance plans sold, while the Senate bill would use the existing tobacco excise tax to find the program, according to MPR.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 2.02.48 PM

Drive Shack Inc. announces upcoming 'Puttery' venue in Minneapolis

The growing business backed by Rory McIlroy is coming to the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.13.33 AM

BCA: Man was 'running towards' deputy with knife before fatal shooting

The Minnesota BCA has identified the four deputies who fired weapons.

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

MN Gun Owners Caucus won't endorse gubernatorial candidate in 2022

The organization endorsed Scott Jensen for Minnesota Senate in 2016.

WCCO building

Man who threw gun on WCCO roof charged with murder, manslaughter

The man originally lied and claimed someone else shot the victim.

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.