Minn. group heads to Germany to study health care

Published 5:45 am Monday, September 13, 2010

Associated Press

ST. PAUL— Germany’s health care system is drawing Minnesota experts across the ocean to get ideas on creating a health insurance exchange under the new U.S. health care overhaul.

A 16-member delegation including state Health Commissioner Sanne Magnan (SAN-ee MAG-nan) will spend the coming week in Berlin on a trip organized by the University of Minnesota’s Center for German and European Studies.

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The visit comes just a couple of weeks after Magnan’s boss, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, refused to apply for a $1 million federal grant to study health insurance exchanges. Instead, he ordered state agencies to avoid discretionary involvement with the federal health care law unless required by law or approved by his office.

Germany has long had universal health care coverage through a system of statutorily authorized nonprofit insurers.