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Nine DFL guv candidates would sign a single-payer bill

Nine DFL guv candidates would sign a single-payer bill
By Eric Black

In December, I wrote about the surprisingly high (to me, at least) level of support among DFL guv candidates for state Sen. John Marty’s bill to create a Minnesota-only single-payer system for health care. But apparently I understated the breadth of that support.

In response to a questionnaire by a group that favors Marty’s “Minnesota Health Plan,” nine of the ten serious DFL guv candidates said they would sign the bill if it passed the Legislature. The only one who said he wouldn’t sign it (and would presumably veto it) is Former state Sen. Steve Kelley.

Most of the Repub candidates didn’t answer the survey and, unsurprisingly, none of those who did said they favored a single-payer plan.

The results of the questionnaire (circulated by the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, which favor’s the Marty approach) are here.

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My earlier piece was based on what I had heard the candidates say on the stump, their website issues sections and interviews with a few, but not all. So I ended up understating the number of DFLers who are willing to sign such a first-in-the-nation bill. And, to clarify, only five of the 10 DFLers (Marty, Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Tom Rukavina) listed the Marty plan as their own favorite approach to achieving universal coverage in Minnesota. Four others (Matt Entenza, Susan Gaertner, R.T. Rybak and Paul Thissen) favor a more incremental approach to expanding access, but those four said they would sign the bill if that’s what the Legislature passes.

It’s also important to point out that the Marty plan, which would provide state-paid coverage to every resident of the state for all health needs including mental health, dental care, treatment for addiction and pharmaceutical, does not presently have a fully formed provision for paying for the care.