“The cost of my insurance is more than my mortgage.”
“I am going to have to close my business and go work for someone else. I cannot afford my health insurance.”
“My employer doesn’t offer insurance, so we bought our own. I am going to look for work with insurance coverage.”
“I don’t even use insurance. How can this cost so much?”
“I would have to get a second job just to cover my premiums and deductible.”
“Our plan no longer includes our doctor of 20 years.”
“We don’t know what to do.”
Every day I hear another story of the impact of out of control premium increases. My heart breaks for the families, farmers, and small business owners who are being crushed by the increased cost of health insurance. They feel hopeless. They have nothing left to cut. They don’t know where to turn.
Why should the 95% of Minnesotans who are not on individual policies care about premium increases. The people most impacted are those who run a small business or are employed by a small business.
They need help.
Plans for immediate solutions, such as rebates, are being talked about in St. Paul, but we cannot simply put a bandage on the problem and pretend the broken system will be healed.
We need long-term solutions that will stabilize our market, increase choice for consumers, and reduce cost.
I have shared a few ideas with other legislators:
Tax-deductibility for individual insurance premiums and out of pocket costs above $3000.
Re-instate the high risk pool that existed in Minnesota prior to the “Affordable” Care Act.
Increase transparency in pricing so consumers get the best value for their health care dollar.
Increase competition and choice by reforming insurance law to make Minnesota more welcoming to insurance providers and increase the number of products offered.
The work cannot stop until those suffering under crushing insurance costs receive relief and we have a viable private insurance market.