Senate GOP puts health care in 2017 spotlight

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

ST. PAUL — Senate Republicans are putting a major emphasis on health care as they take control.

That’s evident from new health care-focused committees the incoming majority announced on Tuesday. One new panel will study law tweaks to trim costs while another will focus on care for aging populations. An overarching health care finance committee remains intact.

Health and human services are a huge piece of Minnesota government, using more than a quarter of the state’s $42 billion budget. Skyrocketing insurance premiums and access concerns on the individual market have made health care a top priority for next year’s Legislature.

Email newsletter signup

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the legislative shakeup reflects that focus. Republicans in charge at the Legislature will chart major health care changes but will need Gov. Mark Dayton’s approval.