Johnson levels 'lying' charge over health rates - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Johnson levels 'lying' charge over health rates

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Jeff Johnson (R) / Oct. 1 debate in Rochester Jeff Johnson (R) / Oct. 1 debate in Rochester
Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) / Oct. 1 debate in Rochester Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) / Oct. 1 debate in Rochester

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Republican Jeff Johnson is seizing on new insurance data to accuse Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton of "lying" about how much health premiums will increase for coverage next year.

Johnson said Thursday the Dayton administration is lowballing the medical premium estimates for political advantage. Dayton shot back that the charge demonstrates a rival who "gets more desperate by the day."

Commerce Department officials projected an average premium increase of 4.5 percent for plans sold through the insurance exchange called MNsure. But many policyholders are in line for double-digit cost jumps.

And the average leaves out PreferredOne, a dominant player in MNsure last year that isn't selling policies through the exchange this year. Details that surfaced Wednesday show its customers could see up to 60-percent premium increases if they don't switch carriers.

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