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Lawmakers expect health-care action

Minnesota State Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth, just back from Washington, said Thursday that a health-care reform bill should pass Congress in late November or early December. Don Davis/Minn. State Capitol Bureau

ST. PAUL -- A trio of Minnesota legislators returned from Washington impressed with the enthusiasm of the state's congressional delegation about passing a health-care reform bill.

At least Democrats were enthused. The Democratic legislators did not talk to congressional Republicans.

Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth said lots of work remains on the measure, which has two versions in the Senate and three in the House. "It is very much a work in progress."

Huntley, Sen. Linda Berglin of Minneapolis and Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington lobbying congressional and White House leaders. Of special concern was making sure a provision is in the eventual bill to make sure Minnesota's health-care program, which is more extensive than in many states, is not hurt.

"No one out there wants to disrupt what is working in Minnesota," Berglin said.

She said all bills being considered would allow Minnesota programs such as the state-subsidized MinnesotaCare insurance service to continue.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.