When the issue first raised its ugly head, Minnesota was a divided legislature and the state House was controlled by Republicans, while the Senate was controlled by the DFL, and private insurers were leaving the MNSure program in droves. The question over how to mitigate the rise in insurance rates in the private market, as compared to the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) became a Republican Lightning Rod. Minnesota, as well as in other states created a reinsurance pool in order to help keep costs lower for Healthcare Insurance plans. This bailout, helped keep these plans alive, but now in 2021, the questions over the effectiveness are loudly voiced on the other side because of the availability of a viable public insurance option.
The long rambling filibuster on the House floor in the early part of the Special Session from House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) and the House Republican writ large, was an act of futility. This fight seems like a bit of Don Quixote tilting at Windmills.
Originally, the Minnesota’s reinsurance program, allowed for eligible health insurers reimbursements from the state on claims between $50,000 and $250,000. In turn, the insurers are then responsible for amounts over $250,000, to the tune of $271 state investment. Now, the answer seems to be, if your premium are climbing in your private insurance plan, then join the public option.
This may get at the goat of Republicans who want to maintain the private healthcare market, but it doesn’t matter much to the average citizen, and here is why. No one likes to pay for healthcare insurance, pure and simple. If a person is able to see the doctor of their choice, and the bill is paid by themselves or a portion by the state of Minnesota, who cares.
Defending the dragon, of insurance may seem like a great philosophical debate, but because insurance, particularly health insurance is investing in an expected calamity, which can devastate a family’s economic stability, people want something like the state of Minnesota to have their back. Sure private insurance companies now carry children on their parent’s policies until 26 years of age, non-discrimination for pre-existing conditions, and portability, which are all due to the ACA, they seem like a they offer the same package, but they do not. One, fundamental they lack is the governmental protection.
We fail to see the big boogeyman the ACA is supposed to be. In fact, single payer government paid health care, which can tackle increased medical costs, not by denial of care, but rather stronger collective buying power, can reduce insurance costs, when nothing else has, ever.