St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - In a 37-28 vote, The Minnesota Senate approved a bill establishing a health insurance exchange act, a part of the of the Federal Affordable Health Care Act.
The vote came a little more than 12 hours after the lengthy discussion began Thursday morning.
The program creates a new online marketplace at which Minnesotans will be able to choose health insurance.
Authors of the bill say by 2016 roughly 300,000 currently uninsured Minnesotans will gain coverage through the exchange.
Chief author and Senate Health & Human Services Budget Division Chair Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) released the following statement:
“After 12 hours of robust debate, the Minnesota Senate took a historic step today toward accomplishing honest health care reform by voting to create a Minnesota-based health insurance exchange. We all share the priority of building a Minnesota-based exchange that works for individual consumers, families, small businesses, and the health care industry as a whole. Tonight we made significant progress toward that goal.”
“This bill does not improve or reform healthcare, lower costs, help people keep their doctor, or protect people's privacy,” said Minnesota Senate Republican Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie). “This partisan DFL bill restricts consumer choices and establishes the principle that ordinary people cannot be trusted to make decisions about their healthcare."
The House approved the exchange 72 to 58 earlier this week.
The bill now heads to committee.