On March 13, 2019 I testified to Rep. Laurie Halvorson’s House ‘Health & Human Services Committee’ in opposition of HF3, on behalf of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriers (MAHU) and every health advisor in Minnesota. Along with members of MAHU, I have recently lobbied in Washington D.C and St. Paul in order to share our views on health care reform. I am sure everyone reading this wants health insurance to be affordable, offer choice, access, quality, and coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The following are some of my thoughts, I am sharing these to ask that you consider you own positions on private verses government solutions. You do not need to be a policy expert to engage your local representatives on issues that you see affecting your communities, clients, and livelihood. I recognize the value and service you provide to communities across Minnesota, please share your stories.
HF 3, also known as the OneCare Buy-In bill, would allow all Minnesotans to buy into a public option on the state’s individual insurance marketplace, MNsure, and pay monthly premiums. Under the plan, Minnesotans across the state could buy-in to OneCare at the platinum level, which has higher monthly premiums but covers roughly 90 percent of what a consumer pays for care.
The plan would also offer two other buy-in options — the equivalent to silver or gold level plans, which have lower premiums — if certain triggers are met. The triggers include a so-called “market failure,” or zero plans available on the marketplace in a county or region.
I see this as a bad policy, even though politically the debate is gridlocked, it doesn’t mean that the solution is a government program. The country needs innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, ownership of issues, and responsibility for outcomes – characteristics seen throughout history as fundamentally American and driven by the private sector.
Many of you know I come from Great Britain, a single payer country. Single payer does not address any of the outcomes above, and not only that but you can also add in bureaucracy, delayed care, inefficiencies, low morale. You are creating a money pit you can never get out of. The UK created the National Health Service after World War II, and it has become so large, inefficient, unaccountable, and unreformable that it is not possible to get out of this system. We would never vote to do this again.
There are many problems and costs that can, and should, be addressed with what we have. A government-based answer will impose a solution for everyone for a problem that exists for just 5% of our population, it just doesn’t make sense. I believe evolution, not revolution, is the way forward. It will need your knowledge, experience, and stories adding to the debate.
I encourage you to reach out to your local representative with your feels on the OneCare Buy-In bill. Your voice matters. Consider the following impacts of the bill:
- How much will this cost
- How much will it save
- What impact will it have on rural communities
- What impact on physician recruitment
- What impact on hospital choice and consolidation
- Why do you think a government program is a better solution
- How can I help you serve the interests of our community better
If you want to share any thoughts or ideas with me I look forward to hearing from you.
Richard Lett, MVO
Chief Executive Officer
- Find your local representative, click here.
- Join MAHU, click here.
- Download a copy of the Minnesota Community Measurement Report, click here
- Read the HF3 Proposal, click here
- Read my House testimony, click here