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Minnesota Obamacare in a Death Spiral

Minnesota’s Obamacare marketplace is in an “emergency situation” as Minnesota allows rate increases by at least 50 percent, according to the state’s commerce commissioner.

Minnesota’s Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said to The Associated Press Friday that the five companies offering plans through the state’s exchange or directly to consumers threatened to leave the market for 2017.

Rothman said rate increases ranging from 50 percent to 67 percent were what convinced all but one company to stay in the marketplace.

“It’s in an emergency situation — we worked hard and avoided a collapse,” Rothman said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg Markets. “It’s a stopgap for 2017.”

Shane Delaney, a spokesman for MNSure, the state’s marketplace for Obamacare plans, said that rates will rise by at least 60 percent.

Most insurers in Minnesota also plan to limit enrollment so as to avoid taking on too many customers of Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, which is leaving the exchange due to financial losses, Bloomberg Markets reported.

Minnesota State House Speaker Kurt Daudt, a Republican, said that the rate increases and limits on enrollment are causing a crisis.

“The unhealthy combination of massive cost increases and enrollment caps is creating a health care crisis for thousands of Minnesota families,” Daudt said in a statement to Bloomberg Markets.

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