Physician Patient

Archive for the ‘Message from the President’ Category

What role will consumers (patients and families) have in shopping and paying for their health care?

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Today 20% of Minnesotans are on taxpayer subsidized health insurance. This is many more since the dramatic ACA-related Minnesota Medical expansion in 2010. Government-supported insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions was provided in the successful Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA) high risk pool which was phased out in 2013 because of Obamacare.
Assuring real fiscal accountability to Minnesota taxpayers, voters and government program recipients requires that we know how much taxpayer money (state and federal) is going to pay for consumers’ (patients and families) actual health care services (including medications) versus the “administrative costs” of the private corporations who contract with the government for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.¬†Minnesota policymakers and we voters need to peruse audits which specify money for care versus the costs of corporate administration for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare care.
Employers now provide (by far) most private insurance in Minnesota. So, how can they be encouraged to expand their employee’s health care insurance options (choices) while also managing these costs? What is the offset of the costs to the employer for health care insurance and employee wages?
MPPA believes that we need to empower consumers (patients and families) on all Minnesota health care programs (public and private) with accurate price information and also private and public financial incentives which permit consumers to benefit financially from comparative shopping for health care with (online) price transparency for their care, medications, and private or public insurance. 

How will we pay for health care in Minnesota?

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Minnesotans are in Jeff Johnson’s debt for a gubernatorial campaign which on health care was positive, instructive, and respectful of the the intelligence and heartfelt concerns of all Minnesotans. In discussing realistic approaches to reigning in our mounting health care costs, Jeff showed depth of understanding, integrity, respect, and skill in the debates with Governor-elect Tim Walz. Walz was similarly respectful, but Jeff exposed Tim’s biggest vulnerability and challenge to health care policy development by asking the the vital question: “Tim, how are you going to pay for this?”

During this election cycle, in their ads Democrats claimed falsely that Republicans (who oppose the ACA) would take away their health care insurance protections for pre-existing, chronic/expensive, medical conditions. This of course is simply not true. But such scaremongering has only temporarily overshadowed a reasoned examination of how to reign in health care costs by promoting competition in a consumer (patient and family)-controlled health care market in Minnesota. Patients and families must have the tools and power to make choices of care and insurance suited to their needs and preferences — while also providing taxpayer support for the poor and disabled among us. We also need a high risk pool (either internal or external) to a patients insurance policy. Considerable work has already been done on this. As Jeff Johnson correctly pointed out during the campaign, we can learn valuable lessons from Minnesota’s pioneering and successful (1976-2013) Minnesota Comprehensive Health association (MCHA) high risk pool program and experience for covering pre-existing conditions.