Minnesota DFL Senators Push Government-Health-Care-For-All Plan

(St. Paul, Minnesota) - If several DFL senators get their way, Minnesota residents will receive their health care according to government guidelines and government budgets, says the Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC).

The Minnesota Senate Health and Family Security Committee held an informational hearing today at the Minnesota State Capitol on two DFL bills that would require universal coverage in Minnesota. SF 339 by Senator Leo Foley (D-Coon Rapids) would establish a universal health care system. SF 979 by Senator John Marty (D-Roseville) would require the state health department to design a universal system and put it into place by 2010.

Not Consumer Driven
"Single-payer is the antithesis of consumer-directed health care. This is essentially 'care by committee,'" said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

"If universal coverage becomes law, government committees will dictate what kind of care is available, how many dollars will be spent on it, and what age, lifestyle and other factors will limit patient access to services," she added.

Orchestrated Hearing
Although the senate committee's public announcement of the hearing said there would only be a discussion of the proposed legislation, the agenda contained a list testifiers - all well-prepared supporters of the bills.

"This was an orchestrated promotion of single payer. There was no announcement that testimony would be taken and no real attempt to get or hear testimony on both sides of the issue," said Brase.

No Solution to Rising Costs
"One of the main reasons we have a problem with health care costs is the false sense of entitlement. Universal coverage will expand entitlement and further remove consumers from the true cost of health care, " says Brase.

Brase also says government programs are also prime targets for fraud. She points to the $106.9 billion in improper Medicare payments that have been made between 1996 and 2002. In addition, the federal government recently identified $167 million in fraudulent power wheelchair claims.

No Right to Pay for Care
Brase notes that the bill prohibits purchase of private health insurance. In addition, it says, "There shall be no co-payments, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket payments by individuals for services."

"If this bill passes it's time to pack up and move to another state. Doctors won't be able to accept private payment, patients won't be able to pay cash for care denied, and citizens may not even be able to buy a private insurance policy to receive care in another state," Brase warns.


Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935