Skip to main content

They tried to arrange state help with insurance costs – but they only fought

Special session idea dies as the governor and House speaker do their fighting in front of the cameras

Ever since we learned in September that Minnesotans who buy their own health insurance are facing rate hikes of more than 50 percent, state policymakers have been talking about giving them a hand with those surging premiums.

But it won't happen this year.

A last-chance negotiating session between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt on Friday consisted of 15 minutes of bickering and ended with no agreement.

That was the death knell for a possible special session next week where lawmakers might have approved state rebates to help people with their insurance costs.

Taking their fight to the public

Besides helping with health insurance, Daudt and Dayton were talking about approving the tax cuts and state construction projects that didn't get finished in their regular session last spring.

But, just like last spring, it's been hard for them to agree on things. So they gave up on the other stuff and decided to have one last meeting Friday on the possible health insurance rebates. Only this time there was a twist: they turned their negotiating session into a public meeting, inviting news reporters to sit in on it.

You can watch the whole 15 minutes here. If you like seeing political leaders cast blame and take verbal swipes at each other, you should find it entertaining.

What does the lack of agreement mean?

About 95 percent of Minnesotans get their health insurance through their job or through a government program. A lot of the 5 percent who buy individual coverage can get federal subsidies to help them with the big 2017 rate hikes.

But that still leaves about 120,000 people who are buying their own insurance and don't qualify for the subsidies.

Those are the people hurt by the failure to agree on a special session. And nobody sounds happy about it.

After Friday's meeting broke up, Dayton called the lack of a special session "a shared failure" and said "It's bad for Minnesota, there's no doubt about it," the Associated Press reports.

But the new year will bring new hope.

The 2017 legislative session begins on Jan. 3. Daudt told reporters Friday the failure to agree on a special session is "a little setback" for Minnesotans and predicted that in the first week of the new session there will be an agreement to provide health insurance help.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 3.03.13 PM

Revival to close its original Minneapolis restaurant

Don't worry – it's bringing the chicken to its nearby BBQ joint.

image

Fatal crash under investigation on Hwy 62 in Mendota Heights

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash near Dodd Road.

Pixabay bike wheel

Driver strikes 5 bicyclists near Mapleton

The Sheriff's Office has indicated that those injured were children.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 3.13.52 PM

The former Bachelor Farmer space is sold in Minneapolis

A new restaurant is expected to open next year.

flooding on Interstate 90

Supercharged atmosphere causing more mega-rain events

There could be a mega-rain event Saturday-Sunday in Minnesota, Wisconsin and/or Iowa.

9Rhiw3Tw

Massive Burnsville landfill expansion nears final approvals

The City of Burnsville and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are accepting public feedback on the proposal.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 2.35.39 PM

Kyle Rittenhouse attorney to defend accused Apple River killer Nicolae Miu

The attorney who helped Kyle Rittenhouse be acquitted of all charges is defending the alleged Apple River mass stabber.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 7.55.41 AM

Minneapolis police trying to ID pair in connection to fatal shooting

Police say the two people pictured are connected to the fatal shooting of Ivan Redday last month.

ambulance

17-year-old girl killed in southern Minnesota crash

The crash happened early Thursday morning near Lake Crystal.

Tim Gannon

Ex-Brooklyn Center police chief sues city over resignation

Tim Gannon alleges he was forced to resign following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.

boat, boating, lake

Men injured after boat crash sends propeller spinning onto craft

The motor reportedly flew out of the water and severely injured two men on the boat.

Related

Update: Help with health insurance costs is on the way

Not in the agreement? A proposal that would have let health insurance that doesn't meet Affordable Care Act requirements be sold in the state.

Will help be coming for 120K Minnesotans facing health insurance rate hikes?

Even the Department of Commerce said said there's an “urgent need” for reform.

Dayton isn't thrilled with health insurance bill, won't sign it – but it'll become law

Yes, generally a bill gets the governor's signature before becoming law.

More rural Minnesotans have health insurance now

The percentage of people without health insurance is now the same for urban and rural Minnesota, the Health Department says.

One Minnesotan in Congress explains why he likes the House health care bill

Here's how Rep. Erik Paulsen explains his vote for the bill.

The health care plan people have been calling 'secret' is out now

Senate Republicans released their health care plan Thursday.