Rep. Thissen Plan on Health Care Gets National Attention

From The Hill:

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature are proposing a plan to help people deal with sharp insurance premium increases in the state under ObamaCare. 

The plan would provide financial assistance to people whose incomes are currently too high to be eligible for the healthcare reform law's existing financial help. 

The plan comes two days after Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, said that “the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.”

Republicans in Washington seized on the comment.

Minnesota is facing some of the highest premium increases in the country, with rates rising 50 to 67 percent. Dayton also blamed gridlock in Congress and said it should work to fix the law.

The plan from Democrats in the state House of Representatives would provide new financial assistance from the state to help people who currently do not receive ObamaCare subsidies. The new funds would cap people’s premiums at 10 percent of their incomes, which is roughly similar to the system under ObamaCare’s existing financial help. 

However, under ObamaCare, financial help is only available to people making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $47,000 for an individual). This plan would give help to people making more than that as well. 

“This is a Minnesota solution to the immediate crisis of unaffordable premium increases that can happen now,” said Paul Thissen, the top Democrat in the state House of Representatives. “It does not require a federal waiver or any action by the federal government. It does not require sophisticated analysis. It simply provides relief to individuals and families who need it now.”

The plan faces an uncertain path to enactment, though, given that Democrats are currently in the minority in the Minnesota House.