MN Senate Proposal Needs a Little "Truth in Advertising"

(St. Paul, Minnesota ) - After attending much of two press conferences held today at the Minnesota State Capitol, Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC) finds it necessary to bring some "truth in advertising" to the Senate health care proposal, said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

"It's easy to throw around the term 'health care' and let the public believe it means whatever the public wants it to mean. We think citizens need to know that what is being proposed is a lot less warm and fuzzy than it sounds," she said.

She clarifies that keeping 40,000 people on MinnesotaCare means:

  • More people will have an excuse to stay unprotected against catastrophic medical disasters:
    • MNCare for single adults is not true health insurance.
    • MNCare provides a limited set of health care dollars per year.
    • if a person develops a chronic illness or has catastrophic medical episode while on MinnesotaCare, having a pre-existing condition may now exclude them from getting real insurance in the future.
  • Despite proposing to keep 40,000 people covered, they propose to severely restrict their access to care:
    • The Senate proposal revealed today in the HHS Working Group proposes to retain the Senate language on appeals for denied, reduced, or terminated care by HMOs.
    • Patient care could be denied or reduced, according to the Senate's proposal, if the patient's health care provider has followed government-prescribed treatments, even if the treatment does not work, or some other treatment would work better.
    • The Department of Human Services "referee" would be required to "not overturn a decision" by the HMO to deny, reduce or terminate care if the HMO follows government-prescribed treatments.
    • Unless the patient, who is sick, hurting and vulnerable, "can show by clear and convincing evidence that the determination should be overturned," the health care will be denied, reduced or terminated as the HMO sees fit. (R15-A2, line70.21)

"Coverage doesn't matter if at the end of the day, in a medical crisis, there's no access to care," Brase says.

"The public needs to hear the whole story. The Senate proposal boasts more coverage, but cuts access to care, and fails to protect the covered from medical catastrophes," she adds.

Media Contact:

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