Letter: The health care farce taking place

Published 9:14 am Thursday, January 19, 2017

Right now we are dealing with a big — very big — health care problem in Minnesota, and our Legislature has not acted strongly enough.

I’ve been following a story, and it is one of the biggest scams in America. We are being told that we shouldn’t want government takeover of our insurance. People complain about the cost of insurance, but they have little truth as to what is causing the terrible increase in their premiums. It is true that the ACA states that HMOs must spend 85 percent of your health care dollars on your health care and 15 percent goes to administrative cost. However, the ACA does not regulate how much your insurance premiums should cost. The industry decides that themselves. Thus, the scam.

Currently, the HMOs in Minnesota receive $5 billion a year of our tax money for government-subsidized patients. Does Minnesota actually know if the HMOs spend 85 percent on real medical services? Our state has never audited the HMOs in 31 years. The HMOs do claim they send in stacks of paper to DHS accounting for their spending. However, a 2013 report to the Legislature by an independent reviewer clearly proved that the Department of Human Services — DHS — failed to audit these billions, our tax money, according to generally accepted accounting principles.

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Al Capone would be proud of this health care scam, and if he was still around he would want in on it. Problem being that both political parties are affected by this scam. Both parties take money from the HMOs.

The HMOs are fighting getting language in a legislative bill that would force an audit. There also does not seem to be the legislative will to force the issue. It is a problem that is being supported by both parties. You see, they both are given money by the health care companies. Their lobbyists crawl all over the Capitol and many of the legislators follow their lead.

Recently I heard Dr. David Feinwachs speak about the epidemic problem within the health care system and its major problems. Dr. Feinwachs and others have researched this problem extensively. Why do the HMOs and civil servants in the state agencies who deal with HMOs label Dr. Feinwachs as crazy? He has hit a nerve because they have exploited a huge problem for the taxpayer in the U.S. This is much like the priest abuse problem that was discovered in Boston, and then it filtered nationwide for more discovery.

I would encourage you to contact your legislators in support of getting government transparency. The HF38 bill sponsored by Rep. John Lesch supports a complete and thorough audit of the HMOs. We need an audit and that will eventually lead to a much better system than the one currently managed by our insurance companies. We have key people in our current Legislature who are fighting us as they don’t want to be exposed. I want this bill, HF38, passed at the state Capitol.

Paul Tuveson