Dayton says ‘time is of the essence’ on health fix

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Gov. Mark Dayton says he and top cabinet members are working on options to help people facing big jumps in health insurance rates for plans they buy through the individual market.

Dayton said Wednesday he hopes to have a proposal developed by the end of this week or early next week. He convened a conference call  with commissioners who advise him on the budget, taxes and insurance.

Dayton said "time is of the essence," but he's not sure how fast a fix could be made.

"If it requires legislative action, I'm not going to call a special session before the election. That would just be mayhem," he said. "But we could let them know it's forthcoming and take action right afterward. I don't know the specifics of what we're going to propose, so stay tuned."

The Democratic governor has spoken bluntly about flaws with the Affordable Care Act that have left about 5 percent of Minnesotans looking at double-digit increases in premiums for 2017 coverage.

The enrollment period for next year begins Nov. 1.

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