Minnesota Governor: Obamacare 'No Longer Affordable'

| by Lauren Briggs
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton giving a speechMinnesota Gov. Mark Dayton giving a speech

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota, who has praised the Affordable Care Act many times in the past, criticized it for its ever increasing prices in his state.

"The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people," Dayton told reporters on Oct. 12 while speaking about the health insurance problems that Minnesota faces, according to WCCO.

Dayton urged Congress to step in and fix the law, particularly in his state, where individual plan premiums are projected to rise by double digits -- between 50 and 67 percent -- after many major insurers said they would leave the market in 2017.

Much of those rate hikes come from a range of factors including high prescription drug costs and customers who need more medical attention than initially expected, notes Politico. The projected price increases do not take into consideration subsidies that lower- and middle-income Minnesotans receive with Obamacare every month. Five percent of state residents (roughly 250,000 people) buy their own health insurance in the individual market, while many others receive Obamacare or other plans through their work.

"[Obamacare has] some serious blemishes right now and serious deficiencies," Dayton explained, according to WCCO.

Dayton and his administration initially enthusiastically embraced the ACA, which brought Minnesota the lowest health insurance premiums in the nation when they first went on sale in 2013.

Minnesota legislators are looking into cutting costs and keeping the market afloat in an attempt to fix the state's Obamacare crisis. Dayton still supports the goals of the Affordable Care Act but and said that U.S. lawmakers need to work on improving the laws so that Americans can still access affordable health care.

"The governor wants to make it clear that the Republicans in Congress are to blame for their unwillingness to make improvements necessary to make the Affordable Care Act more successful," Dayton spokesman Sam Fettig told Politico in an email.

Sources: WCCO, Politico / Photo credit: Office of Governor Mark Dayton & Lt. Governor Tina Smith/Flickr

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