Talk about a target on your back: The November 2nd Election was almost as much about the federal health care reform package as it was the Wall Street bailouts. And most progressive thinker believe that that health care package is anything but, with some notable exceptions – like no more preexisting conditions haunting future coverage, no more limits on catastrophic coverages and coverages of parented children extended up to age 26.
Not too much more to celebrate in federal reform and even that is too much for conservatives who rode that horse to new majorities in the US House and both houses of the Minnesota Legislature (the latter startling most political observers) and kept promising to repeal it if elected (not bothering to mention that this President would veto any such attempts). Ironically, for all their initial opposition, the fact of its passage has meant that insurance companies and healthcare providers of all kinds have been preparing the way for its implementation, and are none too happy with the prospect of reversing their field at this juncture. And people are already more accepting of those reforms than the election might indicate, especially as 2014’s full effects approach.
Still, any new initiatives or legislation of sterner stuff, particularly anything resembling a single-payer system, would seem eons away from any serious consideration in the current political climate. And yet…
And yet, advocates for at least a state-based single-payer system, especially the one they call the Minnesota Health Care Plan, introduced by Sen. John Marty at least a couple of years ago, are undeterred, and the very large Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC) is in the lead, along with the Minnesota Chapter of Physicians for a National Healthcare Program (PNHP). The MHCP essentially removes third-party payers (insurance companies) from the reimbursement equation in Minnesota, replacing that with a plan which covers absolutely everything medically necessary for everyone in the state (universal coverage), regardless of employer or employment status, for the rest of their lives, and which is paid for out of a pool of public revenues and from which payments are determined by a system similar to the beloved Medicare system with similar cost controls (Medicare administrative costs are limited to 2.5% of premiums collected and the system watches doctors’ and hospital costs very carefully).
But, what can they possibly expect in this political atmosphere? We’ll find out when TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with three of the more prominent activists in this movement. JOIN US AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION: 612-341-0980.