Health care reform tour in northwestern Minnesota postponed

A health care reform tour of northwestern Minnesota by legislators this weekend has been postponed. It was being organized by state Sen. John Marty, a DFLer from Roseville who’s also seeking the DFL endorsement for governor.

Reason for the postponement: scheduling conflicts.

“Some sites we were going to visit had conflicts, and some of the legislators working with us had conflicts as well,” said Barb Jacobs from Marty’s office.

On Monday, Marty had announced the tour, saying he would lead lawmakers to forums in Bemidji, Thief River Falls, Hallock, Warroad and International Falls. He had planned to have legislators from those areas join him in the discussions.

No word on when the tour will be rescheduled, although Jacobs said sooner, rather than later, would be better because the issue will be considered when the Legislature convenes in February.

Marty is the Senate author of a bill called the Minnesota Health Plan, which he says would cover all Minnesotans for all their medical needs, including prescription drugs, dental care, nursing home care, vision care, immunizations and preventative care, chemical-dependency treatment and mental health. He says it would have “a lower cost than we are spending now.”

Rep. David Bly, a DFLer from Northfield is House author of the Minnesota Health Plan.

Marty says one-third of state legislators are co-authors of the bill. He said cost savings would come from:

  •  Focusing on prevention and early intervention;
  •  Promoting public health and efficient delivery of care;
  •  Decreasing administrative expenses;
  •  Eliminating insurance bureaucracy;
  •  Helping people use health care services appropriately; and
  •  Negotiating fair prices with drug companies and medical providers.

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