Guest Column: Minnesotans are demanding urgent action

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Guest Column by Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy


I am a nurse, a mom, a legislator and the DFL-endorsed candidate for governor. I am running because I believe in politics that improve people’s lives — a politics of purpose.

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Above all else, my conversations with Minnesotans have prepared me to lead our state and fight for you. For 12 years as a state representative, I have traveled across the state listening to the concerns and aspirations of Minnesotans. Here in Albert Lea, I have heard concerns about access to health care and fear about the closing of your hospital. You have told me about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs and economic challenges that make it harder to get by. If we commit to taking on these challenges together, I know we can succeed.    

We can build a future where everyone has health care they can count on. Nearly 349,000 Minnesotans are uninsured, in large part due to high premiums, out-of-pocket costs and other gimmicks that make health care coverage unnecessarily complex to navigate and too expensive. We must to do better.

I want Minnesota to lead the nation on health care by becoming the first state to provide guaranteed, affordable health care to everyone. As governor, I will open up MinnesotaCare to anyone who wants to buy-in and directly contract with providers, to put health care decisions back in the hands of patients and medical professionals. I will also use the negotiating power of the state to lower the cost of prescription drugs and seek reforms that will allow us to import cheaper drugs from Canada. It’ll also mean a stronger voice for the people when it comes to issues like consolidation of hospitals in communities, like Albert Lea, and set the foundation for a single-payer health care system in Minnesota.

We can build a future where all of our kids get a great education and the opportunity to succeed, from cradle-to-career. I am proud to have the support of Gov. Dayton and will work hard to continue his leadership on education. We need to close the funding gap for our rural schools. We need to expand technical education opportunities that will connect students to experiences that help them discover their passion. And we need to restore funding for positions that offer support to students, like nurses, school counselors and media specialists, to allow classroom teachers to focus on student learning.

We can build an economy that works for everyone — not just the wealthy few. That means focusing on the human and capital infrastructure challenges facing our state. My Connect Minnesota Border-to-Border Broadband plan will put dedicated resources toward building a future where every Minnesotan has access to high-speed internet. We also need to make sure hard work pays off for Minnesotans. That means raising the minimum wage and ensuring Minnesota workers have access to earned sick and safe time and paid family leave.

If we want an equitable and just Minnesota, where everyone can thrive, we have to fight for it. This is not the time for a fearful or timid politics. Now more than ever, Minnesotans are demanding urgent action on the things that unite us. You can count on me to take on the tough issues, to stand up to corporate interests and fight alongside you.

Join me in this fight for our values, and together, we can build a bright future for Minnesota.

District 64A Rep. Erin Murphy  is the DFL-endorsed candidate for governor.