Time for health care fix is right now

We know the results of the Nov. 8 election have thrown the fate of Obamacare into uncertainty. With a Republican president to go along with Republican control in the House and Senate, President Barack Obama’s signature program is due for some big changes, if not outright repeal.

But it will take time for that to happen, and time is not a luxury for people in Minnesota facing huge increases in health care premiums through the individual coverage market. Those not covered through their employers are facing 50 to 70 percent increases in premiums and giant jumps in deductibles.

Governor Mark Dayton has the power to call a special session to do something about this. The governor has a plan to use some $300 million from the state surplus to fund rebates up to 25 percent of the premium for individual market plan owners. Republicans who will be taking over control of House and Senate in the Legislature have another plan. Negotiations will have to come up with one plan agreed on by all before the governor will call a special session.

Negotiators should expend every effort to reach that agreement and get the state’s answer to the runaway premiums in place before they take effect in January.