Letter - Reform our own healthcareRecently, policy analysts from the University of Minnesota spoke at the Capitol on the possible impact of federal health care reform legislation on our state health care structure.
To the editor:
Recently, policy analysts from the University of Minnesota spoke at the Capitol on the possible impact of federal health care reform legislation on our state health care structure. Interestingly, even the state’s top health care policy wonks are also at a loss for details on the ever-shifting federal legislation.
It seems to come down to this: The Democrat majority in Congress will pass a framework of health care reform before the end of the year so that the White House can hang a “mission accomplished” banner and celebrate with their special interest pals. An initial bill of sale for between $1 and $2 trillion will go to American taxpayers, and a big mandate for new bureaucracy will go to the states, whose own efforts in cost control, innovation, patient privacy and satisfaction, and disease prevention is – most likely – out the door.
Americans are asking questions. Unfortunately, some of the displays we’ve seen of the treatment of regular citizens by their elected representatives – those brave enough to hold public meetings this summer – are disgraceful. We’ve seen average citizens, many being mocked in the process, trying to give their opinion on either the way this reform is being handled by Congress or merely trying to have basic questions answered. And we have plenty.
In Minnesota, we have struck a balance where government can help the un- and under-insured get adequate health care without taking away from a consumer marketplace that provides high value at a reasonable cost. In Washington, D.C., many are looking to the flawed models of Massachusetts and Hawaii as examples of reform; instead, they should be looking at the Mayo Clinic, HealthPartners, Regions Hospital and the University of Minnesota.
Ask yourself: Do you want the federal government to run your health plan? I don’t. We Minnesotans can reform our own healthcare.
Bill Ingebrigtsen, state senator, District 11
Ingebrigtsen can be reached at (651) 297-8063, 132D State Office Bldg., 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155, e-mail email@example.com.