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Senator who helped create MNsure is now proposing significant changes

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One of the lawmakers who led the effort to create the state's health insurance exchange is proposing some major changes to who runs it.

State Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, introduced a bill Thursday that would make MNsure a state agency. That means the health exchange's board and legislative oversight committee would be eliminated, and lawmakers would instead have the final say on its budget.

The Associated Press notes Lourey's bill, which he says will make MNsure more accountable, would be "an olive branch to Republicans," who introduced a bill in the House last week that would add federal tax credits, as well as more legislative oversight to the program following MNsure's troubled start.

Republicans say the Senate's bill is a positive step because Democrats are acknowledging there are issues with MNsure, the Star Tribune reports, but some lawmakers questioned if the bill would create "more government" and possibly eliminate the way the public airs their grievances with the health exchange.

Before the start of the Legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton had said he'd be willing to consider changes to MNsure. He told reporters this week that making MNsure a state agency would be a big change, and there are a lot of MNsure proposals coming in, which should all be considered.

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