Dayton urges legislators to agree on health care fix

Dayton wants plan to fix rising health costs

ST PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton says he will call a special session to address rapidly rising costs for people buying health insurance through Minnesota's state exchange - if legislative leaders can come up with a plan of action.

Dayton said last week that the federal health care law was no longer affordable for many people, including the 5% of Minnesotans who pay their own health insurance premiums.  Both Republicans and Democrats in the state have called for legislative action, and Dayton says they should come up with a plan by Nov.1. That’s the date when register for 2017 plans begins.

“It has nothing to do with the election,” Dayton said. “It has to do with these rate increases that are going to take effect on people who don’t have any other means of assistance.”

The state's top insurance regulator said this fall that Minnesota's individual market is in a state of emergency. Premium increases for next year range from 50 percent to 67 percent.

Dayton has proposed using $313 million in state reserves to help people who face big increases and aren't eligible for federal tax credits. He says people who have to buy their own health insurance shouldn’t have to spend more than 10% of their income.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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