Dayton blasts feds for delays, cuts in health care

State lawmakers plowed $542 million into a reinsurance program that should lower premiums by as much as 20 percent for next year. But the state still hasn't received formal approval from the federal government. http://kare11.tv/2xhuKCJ

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is blasting federal health officials for holding up approval of a program meant to lower health insurance costs and threatening millions of dollars in cuts to health care for the working poor.

During the 2017 session, state lawmakers plowed $542 million into a reinsurance program that should lower premiums by as much as 20 percent for next year. But the state still hasn't received formal approval from the federal government as open enrollment quickly approaches.

"It's just unfathomable why we can't get this approval," Dayton said on Wednesday.

And Dayton's administration revealed this week that federal officials plan to slash $369 million in MinnesotaCare funding.

Dayton on Wednesday said the issues could cause serious problems for residents. 

"There's so much at stake here and I don't want to scare people, we don't want to scare people," he said.

The insurance companies submitted two different sets of rates for 2018 - one with reinsurance, and one without reinsurance. The ones without will be much higher.

"That would have just a devastating effect on the individual market," Dayton said.

He wouldn't answer whether he thought the delays or cuts from President Donald Trump's administration are politically motivated.

"I talk to consumers every day about how nervous they are about their coverage they can’t sustain increased premiums again this year," said MNsure Director Alsion O’Toole. "They need this relief now."

© 2017 Associated Press


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