Don’t stall on health care bill

Legislators should work to develop health insurance exchanges quickly.

Daily Editorial Board

The Affordable Care Act is well on its way to full implementation in January 2014. In some places, Minnesota in particular, GOP legislatures are flagrantly trying to impede its process.

Gov. Mark Dayton has already received federal support to begin establishing a customized health insurance exchange for Minnesota. However, the GOP-dominated chambers in Minnesota have decided to block any action if adequate progress is not made by January 2013. This could allow for the stateâÄôs exchange to be established by the federal governmentâÄôs one-size-fits-all model.

MinnesotaâÄôs legislators are once again choosing to place politicking and posturing over the needs of millions of people. TheyâÄôre choosing inaction and gridlock instead of seizing the opportunity to design a system that truly fits the individual needs of Minnesotans. We need more affordable and better quality options for health care, and thatâÄôs what legislative officials should be working toward.

The truth is that even big business is pushing for universal coverage. Republicans across the nation ignore this fact. Businesses can no longer afford the unhealthy choices that Americans continue to make. Universal coverage is the only way to get healthy 20-year-olds into the risk pool, to the benefit of themselves and everybody else. People canâÄôt afford to wait until they desperately need health care to discover that they have been priced out of the market.

We must redesign the system of exchanges now. The few months our legislators have to develop the program need to be utilized for constructive progress for the stateâÄôs residents, not blocked with ideological obstructionism.