Minnesota ACA reform saved $61.5 million, can guide innovation

Beginning in 2017, the Affordable Care Act gives Minnesota and other states remarkable freedom to dramatically overhaul the law through “innovation waivers” to customize health reform to their citizens’ needs. One of the first questions that Minnesota’s soon-to-be-appointed health task force must grapple with is whether the state pursues further innovation or stays the course with current reforms.

A state long known as a health care standout didn’t ace every challenge posed by the ACA’s launch — MNsure’s struggles continue to be a source of frustration. That may lead some on the task force to conclude that a more cautious approach is warranted. But Minnesota did have other important successes that suggest that the task force should keep an open mind about taking the more challenging but potentially more rewarding “innovation waiver” route.

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