As your Governor, I will:
Resist the Federal takeover of your healthcare.
Work toward citizen focused solutions.
There is reason to have hope. Minnesota’s healthcare system is the best in the world, in part because consumers have been allowed to choose, and entrepreneurs were allowed to innovate. You and I know that when consumers (not politicians) choose, they will look for the best quality at a good value. When you choose, you will find the product that meets the needs of your family and fits your budget.
We have seen the damage done to families across the country and here at home in Minnesota by the Federal takeover of our healthcare system. Instead of trusting people to make their own insurance and healthcare choices, Governor Dayton agreed with President Obama that Washington D.C. knows what is best for you and your family. As your Governor I will work to keep Washington bureaucrats out of your healthcare and insurance choices. I support policies that encourage innovation and consumer control. Allowing the free market to operate will reduce cost, increase access, and help Minnesotans obtain the care they need at a price they can afford.
There will always be people who need our help. The vulnerable, elderly and disabled must have access to medical care that meets basic needs and protects patient dignity and autonomy. Yes, we should encourage charity, but we also need to restore Minnesota’s safety net programs to serve those who cannot care for themselves, while protecting those people who pay the hard earned tax dollars to support our system. We cannot wait to act on reform, because the Silver Tsunami of aging baby-boomers will soon push our healthcare system to its limits.
Where We Are Now:
At the Federal Level, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare” is not keeping its promises. The people were told:
- If you like your plan you can keep your plan.
- If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
- Insurance costs will go down.
- Fewer people will be left without health insurance.
While the failure of this big government solution is not a surprise to most of us, many of our friends and neighbors did not pay close enough attention to understand the harm that would come to so many individuals and families.
And broken promises are only the beginning: religious freedoms are being taken away; governors and state legislators are left powerless to protect their citizens; and families are being forced to purchase expensive insurance policies with terms that don’t fit individual needs.
All of the ACA problems are made worse by the failure of the website roll out. People are being dropped from perfectly good insurance policies; personal data are not secure; and those who need insurance the most have been thrown into a confusing and chaotic system. No one is being held accountable. Politicians and bureaucrats are now spending more of your money to fix a problem of their own making.
Here in Minnesota, Governor Dayton and Democrats in legislature pushed through our version of the ACA: MNsure.
Minnesota had a world-class healthcare system, one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country, and a system that met the needs of Minnesotans. Our MCHA high-risk pool offered insurance to those considered “uninsurable.”
Instead of standing up for Minnesotans and our excellent healthcare delivery system, Governor Dayton followed Washington D.C. dictates. Special interest groups like Take Action Minnesota and the SEIU flooded the Capitol, leaving no room for compromise. MNsure passed after contentious hearings where flaws were pointed out over and over. In the end, special interests and Washington pressure won out and the bill passed without a single Republican vote.
The first MNsure grants began in February 2011, and from then until now, MNsure has been fraught with problems. The website that was supposed to be the “Travelocity” of health insurance failed to launch. Data were breached. Grants were given to special interest groups, while minority communities were overlooked. Counties had to hire additional staff to handle the additional work. Lack of training and planning meant that those who needed insurance and counted on MNsure met multiple enrollment failures, no way to pay, and no assurance that they would have coverage in the new year.
Governor Dayton failed to lead at every point. The Governor appointed a MNsure board of directors with no insurance experience. The Democrats gave the board its own taxing authority, control over the budget, and virtually no oversight. As Minnesotans became more frustrated and worried, Governor Dayton failed to act. He refused to take responsibility for his signature legislation. He blamed Republicans, calling them obstructionist. A true leader does not take credit for successes while looking for someone else to blame for failures.
Clearly, Minnesota deserves better.
It is time for real leadership, and citizen centered solutions.
As Governor, I would assert Minnesota’s right, and ability to lead on healthcare policy. It is time for the States to resist overreach by the federal government. Washington politicians and bureaucrats should not dictate Minnesotans’ healthcare choices. When citizens and the states are given more freedom, we will find the best solutions. In that light, I would join with other Governors to push Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it with legislation that allows individual states the autonomy to address healthcare and health insurance issues on a state by state basis.
The ACA has failed. It must be repealed and replaced with innovation that will encourage individual ownership of health insurance. Congress should improve HSAs to encourage individuals to own insurance and save for long-term care. Minnesota is a national leader in the creation and development of co-ops. Expanding the co-op model in healthcare, allowing organizations like the Rotary or the Knights of Columbus to form insurance pools can help us meet the challenges we face.
The ACA and MNsure reduce competition and limit consumer choice. We must go in the opposite direction by allowing consumers to purchase insurance from any company in the country. In addition, the types of policies to be sold should not be limited by government. Consumers should choose the nature of the coverage they need. We should also work toward an expanded self-insured market.
To expand opportunity and reduce cost in our public programs, the Federal government should distribute Medicaid block grants. Minnesota can be trusted to serve the poor while respecting taxpayer dollars. We should allow doctors and other healthcare providers to deduct the hours they donate in Federally Qualified Health Centers at the Federal level and here in Minnesota.
My commitment as Governor is to lead Minnesota to a system of healthcare and health insurance that allows you to choose. You know what is best for your family and I trust you to choose the best way to meet your family’s health care needs.