Now is the time for all of us concerned about the future of health care in Minnesota to keep the fox out of the hen house by calling our Minnesota state senators and representatives and urging them to vote for the health insurance exchange bill put forward by Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, and Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights.
The “conflict of interest” portion of the bill would ensure that the health exchange would represent the best interests of everyday Minnesotans by preventing insurance companies and their representatives from sitting on a health insurance exchange board.
I’m a farmer in Wrenshall and have personal experience trying and failing to find health insurance that is affordable and that actually offers health care. I’m on Medicare now, but in 2008 I spent a third of my income on a policy that required me to spend an additional $6,000 before I received any benefit.
That is why the “active purchaser” provision of the bill is so important to me. The “active purchaser” provision would allow the health insurance exchange to negotiate with insurance companies for better deals and require the companies to provide clear options that are more affordable and easier to compare.
Even though Lourey and Atkins have been subject to intense insurance company lobbying, they are holding fast in order to ensure that Minnesotans get a fair deal in the health insurance market.
Please call your senators and representatives and urge them to vote for and actively promote Senate file No. 1 and House file No. 5, as introduced.
LSP member John Fisher-Merritt’s Food Farm CSA is near Wrenshall, Minn.