State of Minnesota Archives: on Health Care


Jim Newberger: Repeal ObamaCare, by any method

If Newberger already served in the U.S. Senate he said he would have voted to repeal ObamaCare, an effort that fell short of a few votes on multiple occasions this year. Any repeal, Newberger said, "is a good step in the right direction."
Source: The St. Cloud Times on 2018 Minnesota Senate race Aug 7, 2017

Matt Dean: Repeal MNSure; it has harmed thousands

Source: 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial campaign website MattDean.com May 2, 2017

Tina Liebling: ObamaCare was a valiant attempt but did not go far enough

Too many Minnesotans can't get the care they need when they need it. People should not have to worry about getting the health care they need because of the cost.

The Affordable Care Act was a valiant attempt to improve a failing insurance system. While it has done a lot of good, it did not go far enough. A system based on insurance will always be costly, complicated, and wasteful for patients, doctors, and employers. "Preserving the market" for insurance is the wrong goal. Our goal must be making sure that every Minnesotan can access quality health care at a price they can afford.

We waste billions of dollars deciding who gets care, how much, and at what price--instead of paying for the care we need. Minnesota can lead the nation in moving toward a system where people can choose who provides their health care but don't have to deal with insurance companies. Some call this "single payer." Whatever we call it, we need to remove the barriers between Minnesotans and health care.

Source: 2018 Minnesota governor campaign website TinaLiebling.com May 2, 2017

Erin Murphy: Allow only non-profit insurers to do business in the state

Debate opened with a motion to send back to conference committee provisions allowing for-profit insurers to do business in Minnesota. "Premiums would likely increase with for-profits because they are profit-seekers," said the Senator introducing the motion, adding that there is no evidence that welcoming for-profit carriers into the state will stabilize the market.

Rep. Erin Murphy spoke in favor of sending the bill back to conference committee to strip out the for-profit provisions. She said legislators were unprepared to vote on changing the state's 40-year policy of allowing only non-profit insurers to do business in the state. No health plans or academic health experts testified in either the regular or conference committee to explain the changes to lawmakers, she said. "We really don't really know what this means," she said

Source: PoliticsInMinnesota.com on 2018 Minnesota Gubernatorial race Jan 26, 2017

Mark Dayton: Allow only non-profit insurers to do business in the state

Debate opened with a motion to send back to conference committee provisions allowing for-profit insurers to do business in Minnesota. "Premiums would likely increase with for-profits because they are profit-seekers," said the Senator introducing the motion, adding that there is no evidence that welcoming for-profit carriers into the state will stabilize the market.

Rep. Erin Murphy spoke in favor of sending the bill back to conference committee to strip out the for-profit provisions. She said legislators were unprepared to vote on changing the state's 40-year policy of allowing only non-profit insurers to do business in the state. "We really don't really know what this means," she said.

Dayton echoed that point in his written statement. "I ask the Legislature to seriously re-evaluate this provision when future health care legislation is considered," the governor said.

Source: PoliticsInMinnesota.com on 2018 Minnesota Gubernatorial race Jan 26, 2017

Mark Dayton: Preserve successes like Medicaid expansion & MinnesotaCare

ObamaCare has had some very important successes. During the last three years, over 250,000 Minnesotans have gained health care coverage. Nearly 96% now have health insurance.

There are important features of the Affordable Care Act, which must be preserved. They include requiring health insurers to offer coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

We must also protect the Medicaid expansion and MinnesotaCare that have provided lifelines for 300,000 Minnesotans, as well as many rural hospitals and clinics. And parents should remain able to cover their children under their policies until they reach age 26.

It is also essential to protect the quality of coverage Minnesotans have gained under the Affordable Care Act. ObamaCare now requires that insurance plans must include 10 essential health benefits: outpatient care, hospitalization, maternity, pediatric care, mental health, emergency, preventive, laboratory, and rehabilitative services, and prescriptions.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Minnesota Legislature Jan 23, 2017

Jason Lewis: We've seen the system collapse under MNSure & ObamaCare

ObamaCare promised to reduce health insurance premiums by as much as $2,500 per family. Today, however, premiums are $4,865 higher, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation report. Because ObamaCare mandated the most expensive coverage for everyone, young people, as well as smaller insurers, have been priced out of the market. Right here in Minnesota we've seen the system collapse under MNSure, and this year's premium price increases may reach 66 percent! The net result is a health care system bursting at the seams as employers drop costly coverage and dump part-timers onto bureaucratic 'exchanges' while providers refuse new patients due to government price controls. ObamaCare even reduced the amount of out-of-pocket health expenses families could deduct. Let's empower healthcare consumers by undoing the costly ACA 'mandates,' allowing individuals to buy policies across state lines, and enacting true portability by changing the tax code.
Source: 2016 Minnesota House campaign website JasonLewis2016.com Nov 8, 2016

Tina Smith: Pushed state subsidy for the expansion of the Mayo Clinic

In 2013, Dayton put her in charge of lobbying legislators to pass a state subsidy for the expansion of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a massive economic development project. After months of political wrangling, Smith and a team of other project supporters were successful, and her work prompted Dayton to appoint her to the board overseeing the construction effort in Rochester. Her fellow members of the board ultimately elected her chair.

"Her roles have been behind the scenes, but she's always been a person who's been about connecting governments to its partners on the outside," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "Tina is especially good at the people side of politics. She was able to really help build bridges."

Source: MinnPost.com on 2017-18 Minnesota Special Senate Election Feb 2, 2015

Tom Emmer: Lost sister to breast cancer, but kept her upbeat attitude

A defining moment in Tom's life came in January of 2000 when he lost his sister, Bridget, to breast cancer. Bridget's upbeat attitude about life is something Tom carries with him everyday.

Family is why Tom Emmer entered the political arena nearly a decade ago.

Source: 2014 Minnesota House campaign website, EmmerForCongress.com Oct 10, 2014

Jim Abeler: ObamaCare risks access to care, ironically

Question topic: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income.

Abeler: Strongly Disagree

Question topic: The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) should be repealed by Congress.

Abeler: Strongly Agree

Question topic: Briefly list political or legislative issues of most concern to you.

Abeler: Healthcare: ACA/ObamaCare has adversely affected cost and quality of our care, and ironically even risks access to care.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Jim Abeler: Big companies benefit from ObamaCare but not regular people

This month when the defects in President Obama's rhetoric and rollout of his signature domestic-policy initiative became all too apparent, Abeler came to mind. A chiropractor by profession, Abeler knows health care. He's spent more time at the intersection of government and health than anyone else in the 2014 Senate race. He allowed that the problem with ObamaCare is that it's too much like the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA). That was Legislaturespeak, so he translated to Candidate-ese: "The cost of extending insurance to everybody under ObamaCare is on the backs of the individual and small-group market. That's not fair. All the big people got carved out--big hospitals, big medicine, big companies, big pharma. They're all good to go. Who isn't? The small businesses are getting pounded, and the people who are hearing that their policies are being canceled." He's sure he could help design something better.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Nov 23, 2013

Jim Abeler: Preventative care; coordinated treatment; low-income clinics

If the issue is ability to craft a "temperate Republican" way forward on health care--and Abeler thinks it will be--he's ready. He thinks his party's fixation on repealing the Affordable Care Act should give way to concrete ideas gleaned from the state where health care works--not Massachusetts this time, but Minnesota.

"We need to import Minnesota ideas into the health system. It's pricing in a way that looks at the total cost of care. It's medical homes that coordinate treatment. It's caring for low-income people through community clinics. It's covering preventative care. We take that as normal--but it's not the norm around the country.

"ObamaCare went wrong when it focused entirely on access, and not on cost and quality. Now we have to address cost and quality, or the access won't be there, either. In Minnesota, we know how to do that. I've been part of making that happen."

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Nov 23, 2013

Mike McFadden: We need an alternative to ObamaCare, not just repeal

Q: How would you address ObamaCare?

A: I have great concerns about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Even Democratic senators have said it's going to be a train wreck. I am as frustrated with the Republican Party in that we have not come forward with a solution, an alternative solution to health care. It's not enough just to say no to ObamaCare. We need to provide an alternative. And we will, and we're working on that.

Q: The Senate has taken votes to just repeal it straight up without a replacement on the other end. How would you have voted on that?

A: I would have had to look at all the options on the table, but I would have been adamant that we need a solution. Repeal ObamaCare, but here's a solution. The fact that there's people with pre-existing conditions that can't get access to health care, that have participated in the system, that have been good citizens, that's wrong. We have to address more than just repeal.

Source: Minneapolis Post on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Jul 15, 2013

Tim Pawlenty: Terminate GAMC Medicare Care and fold into MinnesotaCare

Excerpts from lawsuit: Plaintiffs are receiving General Assistance Medical Care. GAMC provides essential medical services to the poorest of the poor in Minnesota. The Minnesota Legislature proposes to terminate the GAMC program effective April 1, 2010, via the Governor's unilateral decision to unallot $15,879,000 from the GAMC appropriation for fiscal year 2010. Plaintiffs seek to prevent the defunding of the program. Although the Minnesota Department of Human Services does propose to transition GAMC recipients to another state-operated medical program, the proposed transition leaves so many gaps in coverage that the named plaintiffs and other GAMC recipients will be irreparably harmed unless the Court intervenes.

Explanation of line-item veto: Gov. Pawlenty signed an unallotment line-item veto on GAMC effective April 1, 2010; this lawsuit attempted to undo that veto. Pawlenty won the lawsuit; GAMC enrollees were transferred to MinnesotaCare.

Source: Minnesota legislative voting records:chap.256D.03 Apr 1, 2010

Tom Emmer: Medical care is not a responsibility of state government

Source: Minnesota Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Tim Pawlenty: Supports market-driven healthcare reform

[We must] work together to pass health care reform that is market-driven, restores the relationship between doctors and patients, and uses savings from the system to hold down the cost of health care premiums.
Source: 2008 State of the State speech to Minnesota legislature Feb 13, 2008

Robert Fitzgerald: Opposes single-payer coverage because it’s a liability

Fitzgerald said he doesn’t have a silver bullet to fix the system. “I do know what several options are -- including looking at universal health care and single-payer coverage, which I’m not in favor of because it’s a liability going forward,” Fitzgerald said. “I also know we can take a look at this situation from a consumer-driven model as well, but I don’t know what the answer is to fixing health care in the United States.”
Source: Minnesota Public Radio, “Senate Health” Oct 6, 2006

Robert Fitzgerald: Sever health care coverage from employment

On the issue of health care costs and insuring more people, Fitzgerald says he wants to sever health care coverage from employment. He says workers then won’t lose their coverage when they lose their jobs.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio, “Senate Health” Oct 6, 2006

Norm Coleman: Favors some type of universal coverage

Q: What would you do to help small business with the cost of providing health care?

A: You’ve got to figure out a way to get it done. Paul Wellstone’s been there for twelve years and for twelve years and it hasn’t gotten done. Even if you allow businesses the opportunity to consolidate, with all the mandates you have, health care is still not going to be affordable.

Coleman said government needs to work with businesses to develop a plan, and that he would favor some type of universal coverage

Source: Minnesota Public Radio, Senatorial debates Oct 21, 2002

Mark Dayton: Expand Medicare Rx coverage & other coverage

My plan for universal health care is based on the belief that our society should provide and finance good health care for all Americans. I support making health insurance premiums tax deductible for individuals and the self-employed immediately. In order to lower the cost of health insurance, purchasing pools would be established. I will continue to support the health care systems we have in place such as Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans health benefits and will work to expand coverage and benefits where most needed. The centerpiece of my agenda is the expansion of Medicare coverage for prescription drugs for all seniors.

My plan will also provide discounts of at least 10% on all prescription drugs so that all Americans will benefit. I believe that efforts should be made to correct the inequities of Medicare reimbursement rates between urban and rural areas.

Source: Minnesota Newspaper Association Election Questionnaire Jul 2, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Minnesota Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
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