Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 06/30/07 20:54, Edited: 07/01/07 01:22
By Dave Mindeman
mnpACT! hosted a Health Care Symposium today, June 30th. In attendance were Kip Sullivan, a health care activist for singler payer for about 3 decades. Also, in attendance were 6 area legislators:
Rep. Will Morgan, 40A, Rep. Shelley Madore, 37A, Rep. Sandy Masin, 38A, Rep. David Bly, 25B, Senator John Doll, 40 and Senator Jim Carlson, 38.
Kip Sullivan gave a historical perspective of where Minnesota health care has been and how a single payer plan fits in. More people need to hear this presentation. He gives concrete evidence of how single payer is the only way to improve care, costs, and coverage.
After the presentation, the legislators were given a chance to give their comments. Senator Doll is on the Senate Health Care Committee and indicates his personal belief that the 2008 session will be dominated by health care issues like the 2007 session was a boon to environmental concerns.
Rep. Masin pointed out that Rep. Terry Morrow was getting a first hand look at how nursing homes and their employees need more funding, by agreeing to a one day stay in a local unit. She mentioned her personal desire to make sure "Cover All Kids" was given a priority.
Rep. Morgan expressed his disappointment that the Governor vetoed the coverage pool that had been authorized for teachers during last session. He leans toward larger coverage pools as a compromise measure for lowering costs.
Rep. Bly is a full fledged single payer supporter and has been a strong advocate during his campaigns. He finally won his seat on the third try.
Rep. Madore gave an emotional perspective of her own family's ordeal with the health care system. She has a daughter with spina bifida and a son with autism. Her daughter's diagnosis was delayed several years because of managed care encumbrances and she spoke emotionally of what it cost her family personally.
Senator Carlson carries a table of the rankings of western democracies regarding health care. He said the US ranks has by far the highest cost overall, yet ranks low in several categories. He blames the current methods of corporate insurers for the problem. He also pointed out how small business suffers from an inability to get top quality employees because they cannot compete with the quality health coverage of big companies.
There are health care bills ready to go for 2008. Single payer will be on the table. How this is defined is still an issue up in the air. Competing schools of thought exist, even within the progressive community. We need to sort it all out and make Universal Single Payer Health Care a reality.... it is good for business; it is good for the state; it is good for our citizens.
But most importantly... it is the morally right thing to do.