A bill was introduced Monday in the Minnesota Senate to establish the “Minnesota Health Plan,” which would “ensure all Minnesota residents are covered.”
Senate File (SF) 1125 was referred to the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee, and is co-sponsored by five DFL lawmakers, including Sens. John Marty (D-Roseville) (pictured above), Thomas Bakk (D-Cook), Chris Eaton (D-Brooklyn Center), Susan Kent (D-Woodbury), and Ann Rest (D-New Hope).
The bill states that “in order to keep Minnesota residents healthy and provide the best quality of health care, the Minnesota Health Plan must:”
- ensure all Minnesota residents are covered;
- cover all necessary care, including dental, vision and hearing, mental health, chemical dependency treatment, prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies, long-term care, and home care;
- allow patients to choose their providers;
- reduce costs by negotiating fair prices and by cutting administrative bureaucracy, not by restricting or denying care;
- be affordable to all through premiums based on ability to pay and elimination of co-pays;
- focus on preventive care and early intervention to improve health;
- ensure that there are enough health care providers to guarantee timely access to care;
- continue Minnesota’s leadership in medical education, research, and technology;
- provide adequate and timely payments to providers; and
- use a simple funding and payment system.
According to the bill, all Minnesota residents would be eligible for the Minnesota Health Plan, including residents who are temporarily out of state but “intend to return and reside in Minnesota.” Eligibility also would be extended to nonresidents who are employed in Minnesota.
Under the “patient care” section of the bill, it states that all patients would have a “primary care provider and have access to care coordination,” and that referrals would not be “required for a patient to see a health care specialist.”
The bill would also establish the “Minnesota Health Fund,” which would be controlled by a new “Minnesota Health Board” and used for the exclusive purpose of financing the Minnesota Health Plan.
As revenue sources for the Minnesota Health Plan, the bill lists premiums, federal receipts, “funds from outside sources,” “governmental payments,” “federal preemption,” and the elimination of “cost-sharing.”
The full text of the bill can be read here.
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “State Senator John Marty” by Minnesota State Senate, and “Minnesota Health Care” by Minnesota Health Plan.