Minnesota Information

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012

By Ann Settgast, M.D. | Southside Pride (Minneapolis) The day the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was upheld by the Supreme Court was ironic for me as a physician. Two of my patients asked me to prescribe medication for uninsured family members: A mother asked me for an inhaler for her adult son with uncontrolled asthma, and another asked me if I could refill her husband’s blood pressure medications for a month or two until he is able to find another job following his lay off. He cannot see his doctor due to his uninsurance.

Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

By Dave Dvorak, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
"How much will this cost?” he asks. It’s the question at the heart of any business transaction: Is this new car, this plane ticket, this iPad worth the asking price? But the man sitting before me is not a customer in an automobile showroom or an electronics store. He is my patient in the emergency department, and he is weighing whether to undergo the chest CT scan I have just recommended.

Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012

By Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | The Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.), Letters
I think it is interesting that the Supreme Court has upheld the idea that the individual mandate as a tax is constitutional. What does this mean? First of all, it means that we as a nation have decided that health care is a “greater good” -- that everybody deserves health care. Second, we have decided that everyone pays in to health care. We have already decided to do this in Medicare, but now we are extending the concept to everyone.

Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012

By Joshua Faucher | Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.), Letters
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is anything but a complete solution to our health care crisis. The bill still will leave at least 26 million devoid of insurance coverage. Equally worrisome, it will force many into a relationship with private insurers for coverage that is too expensive and often incomplete. We must react by implementing the non-profit, single-payer insurance system our country needs and deserves.

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012

Elizabeth Frost, MD | Southside Pride (Minneapolis)
I am a family practice physician and a supporter of single-payer health care for all. There are nearly 1000 doctors and providers in Minnesota that advocate for this kind of public financing of health care. I am not alone. As you know, single-payer has been popular in Minnesota for years. In fact, it has been endorsed by the DFL for over 20 years and is supported by Governor Mark Dayton.

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012

By Ann Settgast, M.D. | The Star Tribune (Minn.)
The need for our hospitals to provide uncompensated care to uninsured and underinsured Minnesotans will continue to grow if we do not fundamentally change our system. Assuming the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, more than 250,000 Minnesotans will remain uninsured, while hundreds of thousands more will rely on skimpy insurance that does not properly protect them from serious financial strain if they fall ill.

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

By Sam Baker | The Hill
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is continuing to argue for a single-payer health care system, saying it would not raise the same constitutional questions that have dogged President Obama's health care law.

Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012

By Amy Lange | Star Tribune (Minneapolis), April 2, 2012
Minnesota would not be alone among the states if it forged ahead to provide a universal and unified health system. Governors, legislatures and citizens groups are pushing similar reforms in Vermont, Montana, Oregon and Hawaii. And Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton favored a universal system for Minnesota in his 2010 campaign.

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By Josh Moniz | The Journal (New Ulm, Minn.)
Physicians for a National Health Program-Minnesota hosted an informational presentation for business owners on single-payer health care Friday at the New Ulm Country Club.

Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2011

By Rick Kvam, M.D. | Letters, Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin
Guided by evidence, not ideology, one finds that in health care, the unbridled free market returns a very poor value. We boast the most market-driven health care in the developed world, and, not coincidentally, far and away the most expensive. Our per capita costs are double those of other industrialized nations (in spite of 50 million uninsured!), but our outcomes (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.) are nevertheless worse. Workers' inability to switch jobs for fear of losing health care coverage (“job lock”) is a major drag on our economy.

Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011

By Mark Liebow, M.D. | Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin
Well, Vermont beat us to it. The people of Vermont decided correctly that the advances of the Affordable Care Act weren’t enough. They looked at Massachusetts and found that with that state’s plan, which serves as the model for the Affordable Care Act, costs continue to rise and the rate of medical bankruptcies didn’t go down.

Posted on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

By Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | Twin Cities Daily Planet
Medicare is an efficient, effective way of health care financing. It is what we all want for our parents and ourselves as we get older and heck -- it probably is a good idea for the entire nation. If we had Medicare-For-All maybe it would be so popular that Michelle Bachmann would be forced to defend it, too.

Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011

By Ann Settgast, M.D. | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Whether the debt ceiling is raised or not in the days ahead, Minnesotans and the nation have reason to celebrate this weekend. Saturday marked Medicare's 46th birthday.

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011

By Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva | Twin Cities Daily Planet
Senator John Marty contacted the TC Daily Planet after he read our June coverage of health care, specifically a Q&A with Senator Dave Durenberger on his support for federal health care legislation. Senator Marty let us know that he respectfully disagreed with Senator Durenberger’s view of solutions for our health care system. This is to be expected, since he’s the chief author of the Minnesota Health Plan, the only proposal for universal, single-payer coverage in Minnesota.

Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011

By Joe Kimball | MinnPost.com
The St. Paul City Council passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the Minnesota Health Plan, a proposal that's floating around the Legislature (but not yet close to passing) for single-payer, universal health care in the state.

Posted on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

By DR. RALPH S. BOVARD | Star Tribune
As a physician, I agree that we must get health care costs down if we're going to achieve universal coverage, but I strongly disagree that the only way to do it is to ration. There is another viable and proven option: a single-payer or regulated multipayer health care system, such as exists in every nation in the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development except the United States and Mexico.

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

By EDWARD P. EHLINGER, M.D. | Minneapolis Star Tribune
Insurance is a great mechanism that people can use to offset their risk of losing some material thing of great value like their house, boat, car or jewelry. It can also be used to protect a valuable personal occupational asset like a voice for an opera singer, a hand for a surgeon or a knee for a football player. And it can be useful in providing protection from a singular catastrophic event like a malpractice suit or the premature loss of life. But for something that is predictable, ongoing, needed by everyone, or necessary for the welfare of our community, an insurance model makes absolutely no sense. That's why we don't use an insurance model to provide police or fire services or to provide an education to our children. For these we use the tax model. Basic essential health care should also be in this category.

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010

By JOHN M. BRYSON | Minneapolis Star-Tribune
The emotional debates over health care reform in the United States last fall and again this election season are puzzling to my wife and me. We are professors who were on sabbatical leave in London from August 2009 through August 2010, so we missed last year's debates. While in the United Kingdom we were automatically covered by the National Health Service.

Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010

By Elizabeth Dunbar | Minnesota Public Radio
Dr. Elizabeth Frost, a family practice physician and a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, said the groups would like to see all Minnesotans covered by a plan paid for by state government.

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2010

By Nick Coleman | Minneapolis Star Tribune
After she was diagnosed with kidney cancer, my mother was given a prescription for a daily chemotherapy pill that has been shown to extend the lives of patients with that cancer. When I went to pick up the medicine, the pharmacist asked if I had received financial counseling. No, I said, wondering why we were talking finances, not health care. Just how much is this prescription?

Posted on Friday, March 5, 2010

By David Swanson | OpEdNews.com
California keeps passing bills for state single-payer healthcare, but Ahhhnold won't sign em, and Jerry Brown who wants to be governor doesn't seem to want it badly enough to make a commitment on healthcare. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is encouraged that their current governor has said he probably will sign a single-payer healthcare bill, and the legislature just might pass one. But Minnesota has an angle neither of these other states can claim: a serious candidate for governor who is the state's leading advocate for single-payer.

Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010

By John Marty | MinnPost
Please, restore the hope that you raised in all of us, bring back the inspiration that made the American people so excited by your inauguration. I urge you to step back, reconsider, introduce a health care plan that is truly universal, and fight for it.

Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010

By Mike Rose | Austin (Minn.) Daily Herald
When the current health care debate began in earnest last year, one potential topic of discussion was largely left out — “single-payer” insurance.

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009

By Ann Settgast, M.D., and Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
As physicians, we are troubled by the direction of federal health care reform. Whether via a public health insurance option or an insurance mandate, the proposals on the table build on the structure of our broken system—the most costly, fragmented, and bureaucratic in the world.

Posted on Friday, July 31, 2009

By Ann Settgast and Elizabeth Frost | Opinion | Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)
The health care reform debate is reaching a feverish pitch. As physicians, we are troubled by the direction the debate has taken. Whether via a public option or a mandate to purchase insurance, the proposals on the table aim to cover more, but not all Americans. They build on the structure of our broken system -- one that ranks as the most costly, fragmented and bureaucratic in the world.

Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009

By Kathlyn Stone | TC Daily Planet
The American Medical Association has come out against President Obama’s “public option” for health care reform, but the AMA doesn’t represent all physicians. Some physicians’ groups support the public option but others think it doesn’t go far enough to fix changes in a badly broken system. Dr. Oliver Fein, president of the progressive Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), found a warm welcome in the Twin Cities last week. Fein was here to present PNHP’s vision for a national single payer health program. PNHP has 16,000 members, including 300 in Minnesota.

Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BY KIP SULLIVAN | Southside Pride, Minneapolis
SF 118, the Minnesota Health Act, which would guarantee health insurance for all Minnesotans under a program called the Minnesota Health Plan, passed out of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee by a party-line vote of 7 to 3 on Feb. 10. The lopsided vote was a sign of the growing support for the single-payer approach. This is the first year since 1991, the year single-payer legislation was first introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, that a single-payer bill has cleared two committees in the Senate. The bill has never been heard in the House. It will get its first hearing in the House on Feb. 25.

Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009

By Robert Wolfington III | Marshall (Minn.) Independent
Dr. Ann Settgast, co-chairwoman of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for A National Health Program, said a single-pay insurance program would provide care for all U.S. citizens, while at the same time save money compared to the current multi-payer system.

Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009

by Ann Settgast, MD | Twin Cities Daily Planet
The upcoming change in administration has brought optimism and hope to the American public. Now is the time to demand meaningful healthcare reform rather than a replay of past failures. As a physician, I know that offering a placebo in place of known effective treatment is unethical. Hence, while I applaud the good intentions of Senator Tom Daschle, the Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) coalition, and others, I advise against their proposals to extend a system that is fundamentally flawed. In these times of economic uncertainty and crisis, single payer is the only fiscally responsible option for reform…and it is the only solution that will actually work.

Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008

By Elizabeth Frost, MD | Pioneer Press | Letter to the Editor
As a family practice doctor who works with the uninsured in St. Paul, I have recently become involved in health care reform. I believe single-payer national health insurance is the only way to provide quality affordable care for all.

Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008

When you hear that the AMA is opposed to single payer reform, keep in mind that it represents only a minority of American physicians, and within their organization there is a diversity of opinion.

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007

By By Joel M. Albers, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Breanna Peterson Lathrop, Kirk C. Allison, Ph.D., Charles N. Oberg, M.D., and James F. Hart, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
Despite physicians' vital role in health care, few studies have assessed their preferences regarding health care financing systems. We surveyed a random sample of licensed Minnesota physicians to determine their preferences regarding health care financing systems. Of 390 physicians, 64% favored a single-payer system, 25% HSAs, and 12% managed care.