At Issue: January 29 - Governor Dayton Signs Health Insurance Relief Bill, Reveals Cancer Battle

January 29, 2017 04:29 PM

This week turned out to be a stunning one at the Minnesota State Capitol with a double health scare for Governor Mark Dayton and a major breakthrough in helping Minnesotans get health insurance premium relief. 

Governor Dayton collapsed while delivering his State of the State address Monday night to a joint session of the legislature. About 40 minutes into his speech, he paused to take a sip of water, then began to slur his words. He then collapsed, hitting his head hard on the podium. Several people rushed to his aid to make sure he was okay. Governor Dayton was back on his feet several minutes later and left the Capitol without going to the hospital. 


The next day, while delivering his budget presentation, Governor Dayton revealed he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Dayton told reporters a PSA test came back with high levels last week and the cancer diagnosis was confirmed through a biopsy. Governor Dayton will meet with his doctors next week at Mayo Clinic to determine his course of treatment. He says he will finish the remainder of his term, which is less than two years. 

Governor Dayton signed a compromise bill Thursday that will deliver health insurance premium relief to approximately 125,000 Minnesotans who purchase health insurance on the individual market but do not qualify for federal tax credits. The relief will come in the form of 25% discounts. The compromise bill got rid of income limits originally proposed by Republican lawmakers. The bill also will allow for-profit insurance companies to offer plans on the individual market for the first time in Minnesota. 


Amanda Theisen

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