To the Editor:

I agree, in the short term, that we need to fund reinsurance, to stabilize premium costs for consumers, (see Rep Kristin Robbin’s commentary - 6/24/21).

However, if Rep. Robbins and the Republicans in the legislature, are so concerned about providing more affordable health insurance coverage and being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars, reinsurance is not the solution.

Why are we, as taxpayers, responsible for ensuring that insurance companies, like United Health Group (UHG), can continue making extraordinary profits? According to a 4/22/21 report in the Daily Poster, “[UHG] reported more than $15 billion in profits in 2020.” A (4/28/21) article in the Star Tribune noted that, UHG’s CEO, David Wichmann’s total compensation in two recent years, was $52 million and $42 million. Furthermore, UHG recently tried to implement a policy of retroactively denying coverage for emergency room visits, that they deem to be “non-emergencies.”

Meanwhile, 258,000 Minnesotans remained uninsured in 2020, while hundreds of thousands more are underinsured. Please explain to me how UHG and other commercial insurance companies, add to the value and quality of our healthcare.

We need a plan that would significantly reduce costs for small businesses and individuals and end the annual hassle of “open enrollment.”

The Minnesota Health Plan (MHP), (SF 1643), authored by Sen. John Marty, would provide comprehensive health care to all Minnesotans and bring down costs through efficiency. It saves money by eliminating the costly insurance bureaucracy, which perpetuates medical industry profiteering.

With premiums based on income, the MHP would cover all Minnesotans for all their medical needs, including dental, vision, hearing, drugs, mental health and long-term care services. Patients would be able to see the medical providers of their choice, with care decisions made by them and their doctors - not profit driven insurance companies.

Coverage is fully portable, with no gaps in coverage when you switch jobs, get laid-off, start a business or retire. All the payments, covering all of the costs, would be made by the MHP – no copays, deductibles or coinsurance.

Rep. Robbins, here is your chance to “ensure all Minnesotans have access to affordable quality healthcare!”

Dave Garibaldi


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