|Sen. Eaton supports heath exchange bill|
St. Paul, Minn. -- State Senator Chris Eaton voted in support of the Minnesota Heath Care Exchange Bill on March 7. The Exchange is a new online marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to shop for quality, affordable health care coverage that fits their budget. It will also provide health insurance to about 30,000 Minnesotans who do not currently have health care coverage.
“This is a good bill for Minnesota families and businesses that will allow people to go online and find comparisons of health care coverage options,” Sen. Eaton said. “We had a long debate and fought back a number of harmful amendments that would have derailed this very good bill. I am especially pleased the Senate bill protects the rights of women and no amendments were offered for restrictions on a woman’s right to make their own health care choices.”
By allowing people to see that options they have, they will be able to leverage insurance companies against one another to find the best option and price for their family. In addition, Minnesota is paying for the uninsured through uncompensated care. Once the Exchange is in place, Minnesota will save money by providing cost-efficient coverage to this population.
“Despite Republican roadblocks, if we would have failed to create an exchange, then all Minnesotans wishing to purchase insurance through an exchange will have to go through the Federal Exchange,” Eaton said. “The Minnesota exchange will be a much better program and will cost less than participation in the federal exchange for all parties involved.”
Creating the exchange gives Minnesota a great opportunity to continue to lead the nation in healthcare coverage. The bill was heard in seven different Senate committees and all but one senator had an opportunity to discuss and amend the bill. The Senate spent several hours discussing the bill before it passed off the floor. The legislation will now be sent to conference committee.
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