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MN pols open to deal on Medicaid vouchers

Key legislators are considering compromise over a potentially explosive Republican proposal to partly privatize Minnesota's public healthcare programs and require some low-income residents to buy their own insurance. If they can find common ground, it would create the nation's first such privatized state healthcare plan. The House and Senate have approved their own versions of the idea -- both contained in budget bills likely to be vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton. But several Democratic-Farm-Labor Party and GOP leaders say there may be room for agreement over one plan, which would introduce vouchers into MinnesotaCare, a form of subsidized insurance for the working poor. Republicans hope the experiment will lead to greater privatization of government health programs; DFLers see it as a path to faster implementation of healthcare "exchanges," a hallmark of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
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