Reinsurance: Back and Worse Than Ever. Tell your lawmakers to protect MinnesotaCare.

At TakeAction Minnesota we believe in people-centered, publicly funded health care that leaves nobody out. In 2022, Minnesota should be moving toward a public health care option on the path to a universal, single-payer health care system.  

Instead, state Republicans have fought for years to prop up HMOs and the failing private health insurance market through so-called ‘reinsurance.’ You can learn more about it in MinnPost “The most boring issue at the Minnesota Legislature is also one of the most consequential.” 

In 2017, state Republicans used out of control health care costs as an excuse to pass reinsurance–but it wasn’t a clean bill. They snuck in language to eliminate Minnesota’s 40 year ban on for-profit health insurance companies in the state. The new law had no guardrails, making it legal for corporations to raid billions of dollars in public-interest assets. Hundreds of TakeAction Minnesota members spoke out to stop the #HealthCareHeist and win a temporary moratorium on HMO conversions to for-profit companies. (This moratorium will need to be revisited by July 1, 2023.)

Reinsurance Threatens MinnesotaCare

While health care costs keep rising and Big Pharma keeps price-gouging prescription medicine, TakeAction has always been against Minnesota’s reinsurance program. Unlike proposals like the MinnesotaCare Buy-In and expansion, it is a bridge to nowhere. Since 2017, it has cost Minnesota hundreds of millions of dollars. Starting under the Trump Administration, it has also cost Minnesota over $500 million in federal health care cuts to the Basic Health Program aka MinnesotaCare.

In March 2022, Senate Republicans told MinnPost their proposal to reauthorize and fund reinsurance for another 5 years was a “clean bill.”

This isn’t true.

The Senate bill would cost the state over $1 billion in reinsurance costs and $600 million for the Basic Health Program. Without an intervention, this would drain the Health Care Access Fund (HCAF) to $0 by 2025, bankrupting funding for MinnesotaCare. This crisis is completely avoidable if lawmakers ensure that any deal that threatens MinnesotaCare is off the table, period.

Any reinsurance deal that passes must also be tied to actual health care reform. TakeAction Minnesota supports expanding MinnesotaCare to include undocumented Minnesotans and a public option, a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, and all steps that move us toward a health care system that works for people and supports our health.

Every state district is up for election this fall. If the Senate’s reinsurance bill passes, we have no idea who will be in office or if they will protect MinnesotaCare. Urgent action is needed now.

Contact your state legislators and Governor Walz right now. Tell them we need real action on health care, not reinsurance, and that MinnesotaCare must be protected in any deal. 

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