HCA-MN Legislative Priorities 2023-24
As HCAMN is building local support for the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan (MHP) with city council endorsements and other means, we are also working with the MHP Legislative Caucus on “building block” bills based single-payer principles. These bills will move more legislators toward the Minnesota Health Plan at the capitol as we build support for it in our communities.
Here they are with the principles meant to contain costs and direct our health care dollars to the real care givers (doctors, nurses, hospitals), not to the for-profit middle-men. (The bills’ numbers will be added when introduced.)
Informational Hearings in Committees of Jurisdiction on the Minnesota Health Plan (MHP) in an effort to demonstrate and highlight the following impacts of implementing the MHP:
- Administrative efficiency and elimination of the costly insurance bureaucracy with its underwriting, marketing, and CEO salaries and stock options.
- Annual, global budgets for hospitals to replace the costly tasks of itemizing, patchwork billing, and collecting individual expenses.
- Bulk purchasing of drugs and medical supplies.
- Fairly negotiated provider fees.
Primary Care Case Management and Direct Contracting (PCCM)
- Directly pays health care providers (nurses, social workers, counselors), not insurance companies, for coordinating care to Medical Assistance and MNCare enrollees.
- Contracts with managed care plans for administering these programs will not be renewed. (Connecticut terminated the HMOs from its public health programs.)
- Along with saving taxpayer dollars, it will improve coordination and quality of care for enrollees and allow them choice of providers because they wouldn’t be confined in HMO networks.
Cost study analysis of the costs of the MN Health Plan compared to the current for-profit health insurance market that must:
- provide the projected costs to the state for funding the plan;
- answer the question of how the plan will be funded (“How are you going to pay for it?”);
- denote savings realized by reduced insurance, billing, marketing, and underwriting costs;
- indicate reduced prices on drugs and medical services;
- show the reduced administrative costs to businesses and government.
HCA-MN is leading a statewide coalition of business owners, community organizations, organizations of color including immigrant rights organizations, women’s reproductive health, farmers and healthcare unions to build grassroots support for the MN Health Plan and the important legislation noted above that will begin to build the infrastructure needed to implement the Plan.
Another bill, MNCare Expansion/Public Option [SF49/HF96], is getting attention because it extends coverage to more family farmers, small business owners, and others who depend on individual insurance. It may be well-intended, but it lacks the single-payer principles which efficiently direct our health care dollars to the real caregivers and away from for-profit insurance entities (such as HMOs).
Although SF49/HF96 has elements we support, like covering the undocumented and striving to provide a more affordable health plan option for small businesses and farms, HCAMN recommends the authors amend the bill to make it clear that the MNCare/Public Option is indeed a fully public plan with no privatization, for-profit schemes imposed on it, which currently is not the case.
Healthcare Industry Regulation
- rate regulation;
- coverage requirements;
- limiting out of pocket costs.
Prescription Drug Pricing
- create a Prescription Drug Accountability Commission to address drug pricing and related practices in Minnesota;
- enact legislation prohibiting drug price-gouging;
- more robustly regulate PBMs’ business and pricing practices and increase transparency into the rebates they receive, through building on the legislative success of 2019
- The Prescription Drug Affordability Act has been introduced (HF17/SF168)
HCAMN remains committed to our legislative, single-payer priorities that build transitional infrastructure for the future implementation of the MN Health Plan.
Become a City or County Resolution Advocate!!!
Enacting single-payer universal health care for the state was declared a primary mission by legislators January 26 when they publicly launched a Legislative Caucus for the Minnesota Health Plan (MHP) at a news conference inside the capitol. Outside, a large crowd of HCAMN supporters celebrated the event in sub-zero weather.
The legislators are committed to grow the Caucus to get majority votes for the Senate and House MHP bills, beginning with the 23 Senators (34%) and 35 Representatives (26%) who are already signed on as co-authors. They now need to see support from local communities and ask for HCAMN’s help.
Because cities, counties, and residents throughout the state can no longer afford commercial health insurance, HCAMN members have answered the call by becoming advocates and getting the City Councils of St. Paul, Duluth, and Osseo to pass the resolution for the MN Health Plan and Medicare for All Act. (Minneapolis passed a Medicare for All resolution in 2019.)
The Caucus legislators and HCAMN advocates invite you to join them in becoming advocates in your communities. Learn how by first emailing Don Pylkkanen, firstname.lastname@example.org, who will connect you with resources and others in the fight!