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Tuesday Talk: What’s the future of health care in Minnesota?

October 26, 2010 By Rachel Weeks, Communications Specialist

Several of the biggest pieces of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect just over a month ago - expanding access for children, increasing coverage for preventive care and ending life-time maximums on coverage. However, conservative political ads targeting health care reform pepper the airwaves, declaring candidates' intentions to reverse this ground-breaking legislation. Health care in Minnesota has much to gain from the recent healthcare reform measures but what would happen if conservative policy wins out?

If conservatives are successful in repealing the new health care legislation, what would affordable health care in Minnesota look like?


Share your thoughts.

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  • Rachel says:

    October 26, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Welcome to the new location for Tuesday Talk!

  • John Crampton says:

    October 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Like the Representative from Florida said, the Republican health care plan for the people who are not among the 2%ers is “Don’t get sick, and if you do—- die quickly.”  That’s why we need to repeal any tax cuts we have foolishly given the top 2%ers in Minnesota since 1999 and the Bush federal tax cuts since 2001. 

  • Neal Christ says:

    October 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Dear Reader:

    Will you please consider stating the following:

    “People who are….”  You fill in the blank. 

    Please stop saying Gay People, Straight People, Disabled People, The Catholics, The Muslims, The Non-Believers,etc.

    If we simply start saying, “People, who are…” Then maybe, just maybe, we can send the message that we are ALL PEOPLE FIRST!  We Are All People First!!

    Also, I am a person with a disability.  When you speak about Social Security, Health Reform, etc., please reference both, people who are seniors and people who are disabled.  I am 49 years-old and I am a person with disability.  There are lots of people who are not seniors, who have a disability, and we don’t get mentioned.

    I’m so tired of all the campaign ads only mentioning part of the population.

    People First!  Please, words DO matter!

    Thank you for letting this person voice his opinion.

    Warmest Regards…Neal Christ

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    October 26, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Oh John, so you think rationed healthcare is any different than the Republican plan? The only difference you want to tease us 62% ers with death for a longer period of time. You see it isn’t just the rich with Cadillac plans, White Collar Middle Class also falls in that boat. Between these two groups the one thing they agree on is profiting from our lives and deaths. What we need is a healthcare system that is both patient based and proactively wellness based, what we are getting from the political areana is healthcare that is both profit and public employee based with no concern for our needs. Just like education, the minute central control shifts to D.C. the focus of the system losses all local input and connection and is turned over to Elitist public employees more concerned about their needs than ours. I’ll take the GOP’s fast death over the DFL’s long and torturous death any day, problem is I am allready on VA and expect to die on a waiting list over cancer treatment. If this “Healtcare Act” had been intended to help us why didn’t you allow us to deduct from our taxable income our out of pocket medical costs like Dental, (not covered for me by VA)? It seems you elitist upper crusters are a lot more concerned about your maintaining your healthcare than any real healthcare for us in the working poor hoards.

  • Kathryn Z Berg says:

    October 26, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I don’t know that the current health care reform does equal affordable health care in Minnesota or anywhere.  For example, one of the ways to pay for this reform will likely be to eliminate or severely limit the availability of Flex Spending Accounts and HSA’s.  These have been ways that people have been made to be cautious about how they use their health care dollars, and also builds up a savings account to be used for things such as glasses, co-pays, etc.  These are habits we want to develop in people, but they are targeted, as I understand it. 

    Affordable Health Care in MN includes changing the laws in Minnesota so MD’s and other licensed practitioners can freely refer to and work side by side with unlicensed, natural health practitioners who currently practice legally in MN under Stat 146A.  As it stands, MDs run the risk of being investigated by the Medical Board if they try to practice some of these modalities or refer to someone who does.  Does this seem like a model which is putting all hands on deck to reduce medical costs?

  • Neal Christ says:

    October 26, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Why can’t we work together to educate and to provide health care for all people.  If we have a sick, uneducated society, then we will just return or have more of, “survival of the fittest.”  I would think this would make sense to people. 

    Some of the top 2% just reinvest their money, to make even more money.  And when they die, they just pass it on to their children and the cycle continues.

    It is their right to do so, but I think this whole notion of “Trickle Down Economics,” is just that, a notion.

    We are becoming the really rich and the really poor.  Then, with all the “crazy” religious folks wanting less government but MORE religion, we will be a Theocracy before too long.  And hey, what if it’s not your church in charge?

    The way folks seem to operate is to always want to be the top dog, or lion, or God forbid,the “mama grizzly.”  It’s sad, really sad.  So many people are being fooled by the charlatans like Sara Palin, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, and Fox News.  The rich are getting richer, and the poor lemmings are following them, thinking their will be gold left for them.  I don’t think so, and they are doing it all in the name of “GOD.”

  • Neal Christ says:

    October 26, 2010 at 9:39 am

    So you are getting VA care.  And you seem to be blaming the Democrats for all of the health care ills.  What did the Republicans do?  All they did was say “no.” 

    We can’t negotiate drug prices with drug companies?  Why not?  Who set that up?

    Medicare Part D won’t pay for certain drugs, because they may cause a Senior to fall, and then they would have to pay a lot more for their drugs and care.  It’s true…and all of us on Medicare Part D have to pay cash for those drugs, that some drug company decided we don’t need covered?

    So, reasonable minds can disagree, but we all have to look at the facts, look at who did what with our health care system, and try to improve it. 

    If it is Capitalism at all costs…then, you may not get your treatment, and neither will I.  You are not the only one suffering on waiting lists.  I have paid over $2,000 in out-of-pocket drug costs so far this year alone.  My income is within the poverty guidelines.

    And, VA care is managed care.  It seems from the Veterans I’ve spoken to, that the care is pretty darn good.  Better than 75% of the people in this Country. 

    Frankly, I believe our Veterans should not have to pay one penny for their care, not one.  They served our Country bravely, and we owe them that.  Do your Republican friends and leaders think that way?  I’m a Democrat, and my father and uncles served in the military.

    My grandmother gave me some good advice…God gave us a brain to think, not to judge.  Let’s put our brains together, so no one suffers from lack of health care…and no one believes the lies…“they are going to pull the plug on grandma!”  Peace, and thank you for your service!

  • Dale Lewellyn says:

    October 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

    How can we take polls showing Americans don’t like the healthcare reforms seriously when those same Americans repeatedly demonstrate so convincingly that they don’t know what’s in the bill? 

    And what does govenment takeover of healthcare mean anyway—that I no longer have to pay for emergency room visits for someone who chooses not to buy insurance even though help was available?  Who would want that?

  • Bernie Bauhof says:

    October 26, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Costly government mandates and restrictions on health insurers will raise health care costs. These additional costs imposed on health insurers will be passed on to the consumer and premiums will increase. My business has recently been notified that our health insurance premiums will increase 10% beginning in 2011. This increase impacts those families who can least afford a reduction in their take home pay. 30 exemptions to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been granted to companies by the government so far because of the excessive cost of compliance.  Major Corporations are considering dropping coverage altogether because it is less expensive to do so than comply with new regulations. Changes need to be made to the manner in which health care is provided but this bill has done nothing to make health care more affordable for individuals and families.

  • Rick says:

    October 26, 2010 at 11:36 am

    One thing the Republicans would do is just leave the market-based healthcare as it is. There is enough evidence and expert opinion out there to suggest this system isn’t working anymore. In Minnesota we need more local clinic care not hospital based care. Maybe these clinics should be funded by public and private money, just as charter schools in education are being funded.

  • Ginny says:

    October 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Some companies are reducing or dropping health care benefits or raising premiums just to demonstrate that the health care reform is more costly. They don’t want it and most people are taken in by their crying “we can’t afford it.”
    I think they can, especially when all the benefits are in place.
    Just shows how badly we need single-payer health care.

  • John Van Hecke, Minnesota 2020 says:

    October 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Dale observes an important point regarding informed public opinion, the lack thereof, and the affordable healthcare debate. I’m going to raise it in my discussion with AM950’s Two-Putt Tommy at 5:15pm tonight as we talk about the future of affordable healthcare in Minnesota.

  • Amy Storbakken says:

    October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    A change is occuring driven by consumers who are choosing self-help, nutrition, and non-allopathic care options. This change is mostly self-funded by health care consumers. We may be able to create better health outcomes and save money in the future by continuing this trend and supporting research and use of less invasive healing modalities getting funded by insurance or government funded insurance.

    I am not blaming individuals for their helath care problems, but unfortunately there is not enough incentive for people to get themselves well in the current system. Also, the profit driven health care industry sometimes seems to heap on the costly non-curative allopathic care without regard to healing or the negative side effects of the drugs, creating more illness to come.

  • Rick says:

    October 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm


    I agree. Any healthcare debate ought to begin with the individual’s effort in taking care of themself first. It takes some energy to educate oneself on healthier habits. But we all get a little ill at somepoint or another and need quality, cost effective healthcare. Running to the hospital is not the answer, and paying outrageous healthcare premiums is not the answer either.

  • Dennis Jones says:

    October 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    If the health care bill had put an immediate cap on insurance premiums I might have been able to keep my group Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but they didn’t have to cap it now and raised it nearly $100 a month, which prices me out.  Does Minnesota offer anything about $400 a month for health and prescriptions?

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    October 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Yes, let’s put people first, whether or not the federal plan is repealed, by enacting the Minnesota Health Plan proposed by Senator John Marty for Minnesota’s residents (SF118/HF135).

    When you put people first, you consider health care both a human right and a social good like education or police and fire protection.  You support it with progressive taxation on individuals and businesses, freeing business of the expense of administering employee health plans and removing fear and uncertainty from the lives of all persons—employed or not, young or old, with or without physical or mental/emotional disabilities or chronic illnesses.

    When you put people first, you don’t set up “networks” that limit choice.  You let people choose their own doctors and you let people and their doctors decide what is medically necessary.  You give people the peace of mind that comes from knowing that no one can take access to health care—especially preventive on-going care—away from you. 

    You spend less and get more.  What could be better than that?

  • Allyson Hayward says:

    October 27, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Repealing the act, flawed though it is, would have major consequences on plans to fix MN’s budget deficit. One example: The potential “fix”  (Medicaid expansion funds) for low income Minnesotans awaiting the new Governor ‘s signature in January would no longer be available.

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    October 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Let me try again to help you “Middle Classers” understand what we of the lower 62% want from a “Healthcare System”. 1. We want a “Patient based”, proactive wellness program that is first and foremost concerned about what is best for our health. Every other concern takes a back seat.
    2. We want a system that protects our health givers from financial harm by participatory quality control with a built in (patient included) overview system that forces all medical personell to participate in self analysis and self improvement programs. All the in house data base material available will be used, in house, to accomplish this.
    3. We want a system that does not allow the Insurance Companies to make one red cent of profit off our health ever again. In addition to this we do not want to ever see any “Public Employee” controled Socialist style bueracracy “Bloating” costs of any such healthcare system. In short we have as much loathing for any scheme of Socialistic central control, (Single Payer Healthcare), as we do for Insurance Company greed.
    Does such a program exist? The answer is yes it has very succesfully since 1962 as a Coop structure providing healthcare for 17% of what we now pay. For those of you elitists “know it alls”, I have spoken of this many times on this site more than ample time for you to check it out. The fact is “White Collar Public Employees” are only concerned with swelling their ranks at our expence so we will never hear about any other viable options, and especially not any better ones.