Reprinted from Eden Prairie News, September 16, 2010
by John Tyler
In reply to Ellen Hoerle’s commentary, “Healthcare reform a complex issue” from the Eden Prairie News, I agree, our current healthcare system is unnecessarily complex and expensive. The solutions to cost and coverage issues can be achieved without compromising the care quality of our healthcare delivery system to any of us.
There are two crises in healthcare. The growth in the cost of state government plans is the first. It is unsustainable. The second crisis is the scandalously low level of payment healthcare providers receive for treating the government-insured population. They need to receive the same commercial carrier rate of pay for their services as they receive for all privately insured individuals. As federal, state, and county budgets become tighter, healthcare provider reimbursements will continue to fall, making even worse the forced cost-shifting to private health plans. The DFL’s solution to cover all of us in the category of Canadian-style government single-payer would under pay physicians and hospitals for everyone — a disaster for our care quality and for the careers of our medical provider professionals and insurance professionals.
Market-based health insurance reforms are favored by Republicans including governor candidate Tom Emmer, Senator David Hann, Representative Jenifer Loon, and candidate for representative in district 42A, Kirk Stensrud. Representative Maria Ruud’s voting record indicates she is not. A simple cost comparison between the government-insured plans with individual health plans show astounding savings. Even with pessimistic cost assumptions for the entire government-insured population, we find an estimated $1.2 billion dollars in total annual cost savings to help with a projected $6 billion to $7 billion budget shortage.
The means of saving the three major government insurance plans is an issue voters need to consider in elections. Examine the DFL’s federal and state platforms on single payer, Canadian-style, government run health care for us all as “health care reform” and the Republicans’ alternative with market-based health insurance alternatives and make your voting decision accordingly. Please join me in supporting Republicans to bring forward their common-sense, cost-saving and quality-enhancing healthcare reform proposals to Saint Paul — Tom Emmer, Kirk Stensrud, Rep. Jenifer Loon, and Sen. David Hann.