Registered Nurses of the Minnesota Nurses Association are calling on Governor Mark Dayton to veto a state reinsurance bill when it reaches his desk. Despite last-minute lobbying by nurses at the Capitol on Thursday, reinsurance bill passed both the House and Senate by a slim majority.
"This bill, while giving insurance companies a massive taxpayer-funded windfall, does not solve the problems facing Minnesotans who need affordable health care in the individual insurance market, including better access to coverage, lower insurance costs, and more adequate provider networks," said Mary Turner, MNA president.
Minnesota lawmakers' effort to give insurance companies more than $500 million for Minnesotans' healthcare claims does not include a guarantee to lower premiums, or even increased participation by insurance companies in the individual market. Nurses are calling this program a "bailout" and a "blank check" that doesn't improve the care or the conditions of the patients they see every day.
"Unfortunately, this bill does not solve those problems and is prohibitively expensive for Minnesota taxpayers. We ask you to veto the bill," Turner said.
MNA nurses have continued to visit the Capitol each week to urge legislator support for Governor Dayton's MinnesotaCare BuyIn proposal. That program, if expanded, would allow people in the open market to buy into existing MinnesotaCare plans that would ensure that Minnesotans have affordable and decent coverage options.
Nurses agree that the increasing costs of patient care and insurance coverage are keeping patients from seeking proper care. They know that Minnesotans delay or skip care because of cost, which leads to more serious conditions. Rather than sign the reinsurance bill that does nothing to rectify this issue, nurses ask the Governor to return the bill to the Minnesota Legislature to include real solutions that will give all Minnesotans the care they deserve.
"All Minnesotans need coverage that ensures access to quality health care from a choice of providers at an affordable cost," Turner said.