ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Dayton administration has asked the federal government for another $42.5 million to build Minnesota's insurance exchange, a key part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
In a letter to top state lawmakers, Dayton also said his administration will wait to make any final decisions on the exchange until after the November elections. But that's less than two weeks before a major deadline for detailed plans of the exchange to the federal government.
Bob Hume, the governor's chief of staff, says after election day, lawmakers will have the opportunity to review options and participate in final decisions.
"We will wait until after the election in November to make final decisions and we hope that in the interim they will work with us," Hume said.
The development of the exchange has been a highly charged and divisive political issue. The Republican-controlled Legislature has refused to pass legislation to create one in part because it's connected to the president's health care law.
Anoka Republican Jim Abeler, who chairs the Minnesota Health and Human Services Finance committee said he is not impressed by the governor's decision to wait.
"There's a bit of a shot across the bow here again and a warning note that the administration is moving forward and, "we gave you one last chance and if you don't want to engage, then you can't say we didn't invite you,' " Abeler said.
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News
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