Create Minnesota's health insurance exchange the right way

  • Article by: AUDREY BRITTON
  • Updated: March 10, 2013 - 10:09 PM

It’s in the hands of a conference committee, and there are concerns.

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jdlellis1Mar. 11, 1312:15 AM

The government(s) have framed the game (Affordable Health Care Act), defined the rules for the suppliers (Providers, Clinics, Hospitals, etc.) and are providing the masses with a finite health care commodity (goods/services). Representative Atkins (DFL) states, "This is capitalism at its best!" Then there are people who call for doing this the right way. Command and control. Was not done well in the former Soviet Union. Costs taxpayers lots of money in countries like Norway, Denmark, etc.).

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texas_technomanMar. 11, 13 6:02 AM

Are we surprised that the health care lobby is trying to twist this to their advantage...I suggest we ban them from having any contact with our elected officials until this thing is up and running. You should be able to enter your personal circumstances into the system, and it gives you back 10 or so choices. 80 is unacceptable! And as well, make them pay to get in...not us! Good editorial.

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Willy53Mar. 11, 13 6:21 AM

The Exchange must not be corrupted by Republican efforts to make it even more profitable for insurance companies, completely ignoring the real purpose for whcih it was created. Our company, with fewer than 50 employees, is eagerly awaiting the use of the exchange and the fact that our risk pool will be combined with other small businesses to create a large statewide pool that stablizes our health insurance and makes it less vulnerable to the whims of our employees health (the very reason we buy insurance after all). The exchange has to enforce minimum standards of insurance and not allow the obfuscation of policies by corrupted information designed to fool companies and individuals alike and make purchasing health insurance much more difficult and less transparent. Private insurance scored a big win with the ACA. They will have another 35-40 million customers parusing their policies and purchasing insurance. Corrupting the exchange, the first real free market of insurance the business has ever encountered, makes a mockery out of Republican claims that they believe in a free market and especially competition.

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northhillMar. 11, 13 7:21 AM

We have to begin this debate with:define affordable!Is paying $600.00 a month for health insurance that has a $5,000 deductible affordable? Minnesotans are doing this right now.What do you do if you have either no health insurance or exhausted COBRA? The rest of the world has had decided that affordable health insurance is a single payer program.America still holds on to a marketplace solution.Minnesota must act in the best interests of those who purchase insurance.The marketplace needs to offer insurance products that are fairly priced and provide quality coverage.There is certainly those who need these insurance products.Right now,Minnesotans usually have to buy this product from one source.That is called a monopoly and you pay what that monopoly is allowed to charge.

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checkfactsMar. 11, 13 7:24 AM

What a brilliant column! This woman should run for office - again!

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davehougMar. 11, 13 8:10 AM

BECAUSE of the limited risk pools, (gender not considered, age varies only by factor of 3) and no caps, the healthy will subsidize the sick. A young male will pay way above his risk for insurance or pay the governmnet a fine. This is policy that says we owe the cost of insuring one citizen rather than our own risk. Whether that is good news or bad news is up to your own opinion.

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alansonMar. 11, 13 8:22 AM

If you're going to comment in the newspaper you ought to get your facts straight. First, there are no skyrocketing profits in Minnesota - all health insurance is provided in Minnesota by non-profit HMOs. Second, the Affordable Care Act does not stipulate that each state develop an exchange (the Federal government would do it at no cost to the state, and with a better grasp of what the legal requirements are for an exchange). Third, the legislative oversight of the exchanges will be minimal under the current state legislation - the legislature hasn't even given the exchange a budget for the cost of developing the exchange. Finally, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not going to be mandated to provide insurance. Apparently this commentary represents the views only of businesses with between 50 and 100 employees - not a very big part of our labor force.

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reasonfirstMar. 11, 13 9:44 AM

I am a small business owner with four employees and fully support the view point of this article. We need a strong exchange that will offer competitive rates. The status quo is not cost effective. If anyone thinks that our "nonprofit" health providers are cost effective should read the ISSUE of TIME MAGAZINE about Health care. Small business owners like myself pay as much as 20 % of our income in Health insurance premiums and cannot afford to provide coverage to our employees. And the Chamber and the NFIB are lobbying against the true interests of small business owners like me. This is malpractice at best and almost criminal. They are using membership dues from small business owners to fight ( lobby) against the small business real interests !! Yes, the insurance industry has been taking advantage of small businesses for too long and only a strong Health Exchange can change this. Thank you Startribune for printing this point of view and many thanks to the writer. The truth and reason must prevail over greed and lies.

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FrankLMar. 11, 13 9:55 AM

If the state wants to see lower health insurance costs, then start getting rid of the mandates. Most of these mandates have no bearing on life saving health care. If you need a weekly massage (chiropractor) pay for it out of your own pocket. Same goes for people's weekly whining sessions (counselors), try a tavern, the bar tender will listen for free. We don't need life coaches to tell us to eat less or how to breast feed, every mammal on the planet has figured that out. Insurance shouldn't be there to subsidize your sex life. Many cheaper and safer methods than a pill, and for guys things don't work as well as we age, live with it. Cut the extras out and save health insurance for the real necessities.

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mrstephancMar. 11, 1310:30 AM

re: alansonMar. 11, 13 8:22 AM If you're going to comment in the newspaper you ought to get your facts straight. First, there are no skyrocketing profits in Minnesota - all health insurance is provided in Minnesota by non-profit HMOs..... Non profits make an incredible amount of money.

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