Gov. Mark Dayton is shifting responsibility for developing a key part of the federal health care law — an insurance exchange — from the Department of Commerce to Minnesota Management and Budget.
In a letter to lawmakers, the governor says the change will avoid the potential conflict of having the Department of Commerce create a health insurance marketplace that the department will eventually regulate.
The state-based exchanges are expected to allow consumers and small groups to comparison shop for health insurance policies online or through a call center. The governor says the state budget office and its commissioner James Schowalter will take over development of the state's insurance exchange.
The move also follows public criticism of the Commerce Department's handling of the exchange project. Business groups have publicly complained about what they call a lack of transparency under Commerce Commissioner Michael Rothman.