Act Now to Support a MinnesotaCare Option for all Minnesotans

Farmers and small businesses, people nearing retirement and parents wanting to stay home with kids — hundreds of Minnesotans have shared stories with the Land Stewardship Project about the need for affordable healthcare options that provide quality coverage.

With news yesterday that federal changes to healthcare could knock 24 million Americans off health insurance, these stories may get much worse. Minnesota needs to be ready.

Contact your state Senator and tell them Minnesotans need good healthcare options, like the opportunity to buy into MinnesotaCare.

On Monday, the Minnesota House passed a “reinsurance” plan pushed by the health insurance companies. Reinsurance would give hundreds of millions of public dollars to insurance companies to take over the risk of some of the highest-cost medical claims (Minnesota would spend $600 million under the Senate bill, paying 80 percent of a person’s medical claims between $45,000 and $250,000). This is supposed to help stabilize the individual health insurance market. But the legislation doesn’t require that insurance companies lower premiums or deductibles, or improve access to local doctors and clinics. We’re just supposed to hand over the money and trust the insurance companies. Is this a good idea?

A much better option has been proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton: allowing Minnesotans to buy into MinnesotaCare. The House majority refused to add the MinnesotaCare buy-in to its reinsurance plan. The Senate will vote on its reinsurance plan on Wednesday, March 15, and should not make the same mistake. Send a message to your Senator and Gov. Dayton about the importance of the MinnesotaCare buy-in.

MinnesotaCare has worked for 25 years to provide quality, affordable healthcare for Minnesotans. Creating the option for people to buy into MinnesotaCare:

  • Ensures that Minnesotans across the state have access to a decent insurance plan.
  • Gives people access to local doctors and clinics in MinnesotaCare’s broad network.
  • Prioritizes people, setting a standard so Minnesotans can get needed health coverage no matter what insurance companies do.

With so much uncertainty about healthcare, Minnesotans need a good option like a MinnesotaCare buy-in more than ever. Tell your Senator and the Governor to support the MinnesotaCare buy-in, not hand hundreds of millions of dollars to insurance companies and hope they will deliver quality health coverage.

For more on the MinnesotaCare buy-in, see this commentary by Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson on the need for quality healthcare options in farm country. You can also read the text of the Senate reinsurance bill here.