To the Editor:

Is continuing to defend extortion, a decision to be proud of? In Rep. Kristin Robbins’ commentary (Aug. 5), she again trumpets her support for the state’s reinsurance program. So, every time the parasitic insurance companies, “threaten” to raise their premiums, we just throw more money at them?

In my (July 15) letter to the editor, I used Minnesota’s own, United Health Group, as an example of the pervasive greed in the health insurance industry. Just because UHG does not participate in MNSure, Rep. Robbins seems to dismiss their egregious profiteering. Indeed, the business models of commercial insurance companies are all pretty similar. In fact, the four Minnesota companies on the exchange, this year, are all “non-profits,” but all have CEOs whose salaries are in the millions, (

Robbins’ reference to the “Growth & Justice” study, was a repeat of misleading distortions, spread by Republicans, to discredit single payer in 2018. In an editorial in the “StarTribune” - “Single-payer health care system would cut costs for Minnesotans” (10/23/18), the president emeritus of “G & J,” Dane Smith, referred to a similar misuse of the “$35 billion” figure, as: “. . .egregious cherry-picking that creates an utter falsehood” – Oops! I guess they “accidentally” forgot to subtract the public funds already being spent and the 8.8% savings (mentioned below).

Smith also noted: “To the exact contrary, our reports stated clearly and repeatedly that by shifting to a single system of public financing — and eliminating the premiums paid to a bewildering and inefficient hodgepodge of private, public and nonprofit insurers — Minnesotans would save 8.8 percent on total health care spending. We further calculated the savings at about $1,240 per family annually, and estimated that employers who were providing health insurance would save $1,214 per employee per year, and that annual savings could be as high as 12 percent to 33 percent in later years.”

Minnesota’s outstanding single payer proposal, the “Minnesota Health Plan,” is stalled at the legislature, waiting for a cost/benefit analysis. If Republicans are so confident that the MHP will be “too expensive,” why not support this study, to prove it?

Dave Garibaldi


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