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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL)

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Public Option Hearing

Monday, February 26, 2024

Dear Neighbors,

We are keeping a busy schedule at the Minnesota Capitol.  There are just 4 weeks left for policy bills to pass committees to stay alive this session and only 12 weeks before session adjourns for the year.

Public Option Hearing

This week the House’s Health Finance and Policy Committee, which I chair, heard a presentation on possible paths to a so-called “public option” health insurance plan. This is being touted as a solution to the problem of unaffordable health insurance, but I don’t think the report tells us much that is new or helps us move forward.

The problems are real. Many Minnesotans struggle to get the health care they need, even if they get health insurance through their employer or if they are on Medicare or Medical Assistance (Medicaid). For those without a government or employer-sponsored option there are private plans available on MNsure, the state’s health insurance marketplace. These plans are subsidized by Minnesota and by the federal government but are still too expensive for many people.

The “public option” report looks at a model where the state would enroll eligible people in a private insurance plan and would pay more of the cost of the plan–at an ongoing cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. I think we can do better by moving away from private health insurance plans, not by putting more Minnesotans in them. We need a true public option, where Minnesotans can be in one large insured pool, with access to the health care providers of their choice.

Affordable, accessible health care for all Minnesotans is an important goal, which I have worked on my entire legislative career. It is encouraging that more and more Minnesotans understand that our insurance-based health financing system is inefficient and often presents a barrier to care at the worst possible moments. Many people want and desperately need a different way to pay for health care, where we don’t have to deal with an insurance company when we are sick. 

I will keep working to improve access to high quality, affordable health care for all Minnesotans.

Insulin Prices Capped 
Drug companies raised the price of insulin by over 1,100% between 1990 and 2020, making obscene profits at the cost of people’s lives.  Earlier this month, Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a landmark settlement with the Eli Lily insulin company that caps insulin at just $35 for the next 5 years.

This settlement ensures that Minnesotans can afford this life-sustaining medication. You can learn more about the settlement and how to get insulin for just $35 a month here:

AG Ellison Insulin Graphic

Lawns to Legumes Program
Minnesota residents can now apply for fall 2024 Lawns to Legumes funding. The Lawns to Legumes program aims to increase habitat for at-risk pollinators in residential settings across the state by providing people with cost-share funding, workshops, coaching and gardening resources.

Anyone can apply to be reimbursed for up to $400 in costs associated with establishing new pollinator habitat in their yards. Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2024. If you previously applied for the program, you will need to reapply to be considered for fall 2024 funding. Find more information here.

Lawns to Legumes

Staying in Touch

Please contact me with your questions, comments, and concerns, or if I can ever be of assistance. The best way to reach me is to email me at Please be sure to include your street address so I’ll know you are my constituent. If you call my Capitol office at 651-296-0573 and leave a message, please include your email and street address.

Thank you for allowing me to represent you.