Letter: Support bills establishing a health care commission

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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As I have been following legislation that is moving forward at the Minnesota Legislature this session, I am really excited about the progress of SF 1745.
This bill would establish a health care commission (the Minnesota Commission for Equitable Health Care Services) that would analyze and provide transparency as to how our health care dollars are spent in Minnesota.

Health care is a complicated issue. People in the United States spend more for health care than most other countries and yet have worse health outcomes. How can this be?

In rural Minnesota, hospitals are cutting services or closing down. Folks in Albert Lea know how our access to services has been curtailed since our hospital was closed. We now have a shortage of hospital beds resulting in patients being transported by ambulance for long distances. How is this putting the patient first? It is hard to get an appointment, hard to obtain a primary doctor and hard to get access to care when we need it. My family and I have had these issues.
So, the idea of establishing a commission with citizen members that would look at the data and make recommendations to the Legislature makes sense. It

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would enable our small cities and rural areas to have some control over decisions made by large health care systems to do whatever they want without any concern for our well-being.

So, please tell our local representatives to support bills to establish a health care commission.

Thank you.

Joseph Staloch
Albert Lea