About The Bill
Originally authored by Senator John Marty (SD-66), the Minnesota Health Plan aims to create a single-payer healthcare system in the State of Minnesota.
Caucus Statement of Purpose
Across Minnesota, the rising cost of healthcare and prescription drugs is a top concern for our residents. There are currently about 250,000 Minnesotans without any health insurance, and at least a million more who have insurance, but still cannot afford their medical bills due to co-payments, deductibles, and care not covered by their insurance, even after they pay high premiums. For almost all Minnesotans, the prospect of a serious injury, illness, or chronic condition in the family is a major source of economic insecurity and anxiety.
From our experience with previous attempts to solve the healthcare crisis, we recognize that universal coverage, affordability, and sustainability can only be achieved through a universal, single-payer system under which premiums are based on ability to pay, access is guaranteed, and care is free at the point of service.
We are forming this caucus for the purpose of uniting legislators behind the Minnesota Health Plan (MHP): a state-based, health system that will cover all Minnesotans for all their medical needs. The caucus and its members believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right, and that no Minnesotan should face out-of-pocket costs for seeking care, including dental care, reproductive healthcare, prescription drugs, vision, hearing, mental health, chemical dependency treatment, medical equipment, and supplies.
We believe that patients should be able to choose their doctors and medical professionals, not an insurance company’s “network,” and that patients and their doctors should make treatment and care decisions, not insurance companies, employers or government, as is the case under the current system. MHP is doctor and patient run healthcare without the bureaucracy.
Our current healthcare financing system results in some providers charging as much as ten or fifteen times as much as others for the same procedures. Patients have no real negotiating power to bring down the costs. Under MHP, we will negotiate logical prices with providers and eliminate layers of bureaucratic paperwork from insurance companies. We will enable Minnesota to deliver health care efficiently, meeting the needs of the patients instead of the interests of insurance companies. The MHP reduces health care costs by cutting waste, not by denying care to patients.
In addition to cutting waste, MHP will both mitigate cost and improve longevity and quality of life by incorporating important public health measures. It will allow Minnesotans to be proactive with their health. By providing access to pre-emergency and preventative healthcare, we will have fewer people putting off important care, which results in preventable emergency room visits and the need for more expensive treatment under the current system.
The closest analogous programs at the federal level, Medicare and Medicaid, are overwhelmingly popular. Likewise, the MHP is a unifying policy that centers quality care for every Minnesotans in its mission. This means addressing socioeconomic inequity and racial disparities in care. It also means addressing geographic inequity by removing cost barriers currently faced by self-employed Minnesotans, part-time workers, small businesses, and the agricultural community. Currently, many communities are struggling to attract doctors and they are losing hospitals due to business decisions of large hospital chains. MHP will preserve access to healthcare providers statewide by keeping open vital clinics and combatting profit-driven consolidation.
When a policy initiative has the ability to solve one of our toughest issues and improve the wellbeing of Minnesotans across every corner of the State, we legislators have a responsibility to come together and organize for the purpose of passing that initiative. Thus we have formed this caucus, open to any member who is committed to supporting the passage of the Minnesota Health Plan, and we will work together to get it passed into law.
More information about the bill can be found at https://mnhealthplan.org/.
Senator John Marty
Senate District 66