MN Business Leaders Support State-Imposed Health Care Rationing

St. Paul, Minnesota - The public policy group representing 100 CEOs in Minnesota testified today in support of state-imposed rationing of health care services. The rationing-driven Oregon Health Plan is a DFL Senate initiative that is under discussion for inclusion in the final Health and Human Services Omnibus bill.

"This is consistent with what we think should be done," said Minnesota Business Partnership's executive director Duane Benson.

Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) vehemently objected, saying, "We risk greatly the welfare of the people you need to run your businesses."

If enacted, 217 paired diagnoses and treatment categories would be excluded from coverage. Adults on MinnesotaCare and General Assistance Medical Care would have complete exclusion, while prior authorization would be required for children and families in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. However, as written now, the Department of Human Services would be required to seek a waiver from the federal government to allow them to exclude the listed items for all individuals, adults and children, in publicly-subsidized programs.

Senator Berglin (D-Mpls.), to assuage some concerns that people would stop going to the doctor's office, clarified, "All office visits are covered. It's the treatment that would not be covered [in all circumstances]."

The list of diagnoses excluded for treatment includes:

  • Chronic ear infection
  • Foreign body in the ear or nose
  • Uterine Prolapse: Cystocele
  • Mononucleosis
  • Meningitis - aseptic
  • Deformities of upper body and all limbs
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Tip of finger cut off or partially detached
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Malunion and Non-Union of Fracture
  • Cancer where treatment will not result in a 5%, five-year survival.
  • Conditions with "no effective treatment or no treatment necessary"
  • Liver transplant for liver cancer

"Clearly, the business community is looking for a government solution to the problem of rising health care costs. What they should be doing is actively supporting solutions that engage all patients in the direct purchase of their own health care. This is the only way to lower costs," Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC).

"The Oregon Health Plan should not see the light of day in Minnesota. No government official should have the authority to weigh the value of individual lives and the value of individual health care treatments for those lives. It's bad policy and it's bad business," says Brase.   

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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