Letter: Time for Bennett to be part of the health solution

Published 9:05 pm Thursday, October 12, 2017

Throughout Minnesota, healthy communities make our state a wonderful place to live, but we face challenges in protecting them. Health care costs are rising, and access to providers is diminishing. As legislators, we are responsible for addressing these challenges.

Unfortunately, Rep. Peggy Bennett has only worked toward unsustainable “fixes” for rising health insurance premiums that don’t really fix the underlying problems. She joined her Republican colleagues to push through a $542 million handout to insurance companies branded as “reinsurance.” This was accompanied by no guarantee of savings for Minnesota families or increased access to providers. With insurance rates now released for 2018, the evidence is clear: after the over half-billion dollar giveaway to insurers, many families will be paying much more, with fewer health plan options and narrow provider networks. In southern Minnesota, this is only exacerbated by Mayo’s proposed elimination of services in Albert Lea. 

It’s time to implement real solutions that include quality coverage and access for everyone. Giving individuals the option of paying nonsubsidized premiums for MinnesotaCare is one of these. Under this plan, Minnesotans would see lower premiums while taking advantage of a quality network of doctors throughout the state. This is the kind of innovation we should be exploring, but unfortunately, Bennett and other Republicans refuse to even consider the idea.

Email newsletter signup

At the Capitol, the blank checks to insurance companies must stop. We need to put people and their needs first. Farmers, small business owners and young adults can’t wait any longer. It’s time for Peggy Bennett to be part of a real solution so all Minnesotans can have access to affordable health care.

Rep. Jen Schultz

District 7A