Johnson presses Dayton on MNsure

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Republican Jeff Johnson criticized Gov. Mark Dayton for not taking advantage of an offer from the white House to allow some businesses to keep their health insurance plans. Tom Scheck/MPR News

Republican Jeff Johnson stepped up his attacks on DFL Gov. Mark Dayton over MNsure today.

Specifically he criticized Dayton for a decision on health insurance that Johnson says cripples small businesses.

At a manufacturing facility in Minneapolis, Johnson said Dayton’s decision not to allow small businesses to keep health plans not allowed under the Affordable Care Act means many will see skyrocketing premium hikes this year.

Johnson said governors in 39 other states used an extension that was offered by President Obama late last year to keep existing plans in place that don't conform to ACA standards.

“The unfortunate part of this is that we didn’t take advantage of this, Mark Dayton didn’t take advantage of this when he had the opportunity to do it," Johnson said,  "so now a lot of businesses and a lot of employees particularly are going to face some sticker shock.”

Dayton decided against the extension because because insurance companies said it would be unworkable under MNsure and would increase premiums for businesses that are already complying with the law.

A spokesman for Dayton's campaign said the cost increases cited by Johnson are a result of improvements in health coverage such as cancer screenings and hospitalizations.

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