Two years ago, Minnesotans entrusted Republicans with the House, asking us to work together with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton for his final two years in office.
While the media likes to report on the conflict and drama, it is important to look at the results we were able to secure for Minnesota families on important issues like health care, taxes, transportation, education and more.
Just a few years ago, the individual health care market was in shambles. For Minnesotans who buy insurance on their own, rates were skyrocketing by 60 percent or more, and many people were losing their plans.
Instead of pointing fingers, we House Republicans rolled up our sleeves and got to work. In the opening weeks of session, we passed emergency premium relief to help the families stuck with massive premium hikes. And we didn’t stop there.
Over the next few months, House Republicans passed bipartisan reforms that have helped revive the individual insurance market and put it on stable footing.
We brought more health care options to Minnesotans, put an end to surprise billing for unexpected out-of-network medical bills, and passed a nationally recognized reinsurance program that is proving to be a model for red and blue states throughout the country. Even Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar recently praised our efforts, saying, “Our Legislature, on a bipartisan basis, working with our governor, was able to come up with some good things like reinsurance and cost savings that made it easier for people.”
Our health care reforms are working. For the first time in recent memory, premium costs for individual market plans are dropping — in some cases by double digits. Insurers are returning to the marketplace, and families have more health plans to choose from. We know that our work isn’t done and that plenty of Minnesotans still face challenges with health care costs — but we’re the only ones on the ballot this November who have implemented solutions that actually work.
Democrats are pushing a much different approach to health care — one that involves billions of dollars in tax increases on families, government control, and the end of Medicare for seniors and employer-sponsored plans that millions of Minnesotans rely on.
These are the same Democrats who promised $500 savings on health insurance premiums, then turned around and wasted $300 million of your hard-earned tax dollars on a MNsure website and gave thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded bonuses to MNsure executives while the site crashed and Minnesotans saw their costs skyrocketing or their plans eliminated.
There’s also a very clear choice to make when it comes to taxes and spending. House Republicans helped pass the largest tax cut in nearly two decades, putting more money in the pockets of seniors with Social Security income, middle-class families, college graduates with student loan debt, farmers, and Main Street businesses. And by prioritizing spending, we increased our budget for schools by $1.3 billion and made a historic investment in roads and bridges.
Democrats insisted that tax cuts would be catastrophic for our state budget. However, as a result of our changes, revenue continues to grow and Minnesota is on track to have a major surplus that we hope will set the stage for additional tax relief next session. More important, wages are rising, jobs are being created and unemployment is at near-record lows.
While Republicans are fighting to lower taxes and rein in wasteful spending, Democrats have made crystal-clear that they’ll raise your taxes if they’re elected. Across the state, Democrats are campaigning on tax increases on visits to the doctor, gasoline and more.
Despite Minnesota’s budget surplus, Democrats can hardly wait to take more money from Minnesota families to fuel another wasteful spending spree. The contrast between the two visions for Minnesota could not be starker.
Ultimately, it comes down to whom you trust. When Democrats had complete control of state government, they made promises they didn’t keep. This election cycle, Democrats have sent direct mail into your homes that WCCO-TV called “deliberately deceptive” and “not true,” while KSTP-TV called their claims “false.” We cannot trust Democrats with complete control of state government again.
You’ve trusted House Republicans with the House majority for the past four years, and we’ve been laser-focused on your priorities — lower health care costs, smart investments in roads and schools, reined-in spending and tax relief. Under shared government, we have a proven record of working together to get results. On Tuesday, Nov. 6, House Republicans would be honored to earn your vote.
Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, is speaker of the Minnesota House.