Doctors, nurses and DFL legislators call for positive changes to health care system: Minnesota Health Plan; a universal approach must be part of the legislative debate
ST. PAUL, MN – In a bold response to the current health care crisis, doctors, nurses and DFL legislators took a united stand on Thursday calling for a positive alternative in the health reform debate. The group of legislators and advocates, including the Minnesota Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Plan, Take Action and the Land Stewardship Project, announced their support for the Minnesota Health Plan, a universal plan that would cut costs and provide quality, affordable care for all Minnesotans.
“The current health care system is broken, and Republican proposals to fix it will likely cut off access to many Minnesotans. We’re offering a better way through the proposed Minnesota Health Plan. This would be a doctor and patient-centered system, where medical decisions are made by patients and their medical providers, not insurance companies who put their financial profits ahead of care. Under our legislation, all Minnesotans would be covered for all their medical needs, including dental and long-term care. Not only would this plan keep people healthier, but it would save money for both families and businesses,” said chief author of the bill in the Senate, Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville).
“The Minnesota Health Plan is a positive alternative to all of the negativity surrounding the health care crisis our state and country are facing. We know that 62 percent of all bankruptcies in this country are from unaffordable health care bills. We also know that costs are skyrocketing; but poor outcomes remain. We’re saying something big has to change – and the Minnesota Health Plan needs to be part of the discussion,” said chief author of the bill in the House, Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield).
“The corporatization of our health care system is no small matter. Nurses understand the clinical side of patient care but they also understand the “business” side of health care and know that the current system is simply unsustainable with 30 cents of every health care dollar going to something other than direct care. Nurses do not believe anyone should profit from another human being’s suffering so as the most trusted profession in the nation, being out front and leading this call for health care as a human right makes all the sense in the world for nurses,” said Rose Roach, Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association.
“As a Family Physician, I strongly support Sen. Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan as the best health plan for my patients and for the doctors of Minnesota. For my patients, all their health needs will be covered with a single health care card, at a reasonable cost to their family. They will be able to choose and keep the doctor they want. As a doctor, I will take care of my patients with minimum hassles. Gone will be co-pays, deductibles, prior authorizations, out-of-network, and other wasteful distractions from good health care. My time and efforts will be directed 100% to being a good doctor and helping my patients be healthy,” said Christopher Reif, M.D. He added, “The Minnesota Chapter of PNHP has signatures from over a thousand Minnesota physicians who want see a health plan that is best for patients and physicians alike. The Minnesota Health Plan will do just that.”
“A system where health insurance is tied to our jobs doesn’t work for farmers like me. My family gets health coverage through MinnesotaCare, and without this strong public program, we couldn’t afford decent health care. All Minnesotans need to have coverage that allows us to get the health care we need,” said Heidi Morlock, a farmer in Belle Plaine Township.