3-14-13 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Health Exchange
legislation bad for state

To the editor:

Minnesota’s Health Insurance Exchange is now in the hands of a Conference Committee of the Minnesota legislature. There is very little time to lend your voice to head off this catastrophic mistake.
Citizens of MN already have affordable (or free) access to some of the best medical care in the U.S. That will change very rapidly, if the Exchange is finalized and signed (as he has promised) by Gov. Dayton.
The Exchange is an integral part of Obamacare, and it will eventually likely lead to merging Medicare and Medicaid, with the inescapable result of raising Medicare premiums, in order to underwrite the Medicaid component.
Simply put, the Exchange will result in a website, where Minnesotans will eventually buy their health insurance.
A new huge, expensive bureaucracy, controlled by seven (unelected) paid appointees of the Governor, will control the Exchange. This group, with little or no oversight, will have complete power over which insurers can participate. Studies have shown that the Exchange will soon cost $100 million per year, employing over 100 full time employees. This expense and these employees will just cover the management and control of the internet website, and do not cover the actual costs of insurance coverage or medical care.
For those residents, who are not forced into this program right away, it still carries serious financial consequences, because “outside” sources of medical insurance will not be permitted to continue to provide you coverage at a cost lower than the exchange.
Before the end of this year, economists predict that around 25 percent of all Minnesotans will purchase their coverage from the Exchange, and that you others will soon see your premiums rise by almost 30 percent.
Make no mistake, this Exchange, which Dayton has pledged to sign, will eventually lead to state run healthcare imposed on all Minnesotans. We are already being restricted to fewer doctor visits, being required to run a gauntlet of “physicians’ assistants,” nurses, and bureaucratic gatekeepers, before we can see our doctors. Under Obamacare, doctors are already being pressured to take less money for their services, and even to become salaried employees. Before you know it, doctors will be paid less than the governors appointed Exchange Bureaucrats.
Unless we are successful in pressuring the Governor and the Legislature to do the right thing, quality healthcare will be a thing of the past. Please, please call and write the Governor’s office, you Senators, and your House Members to try to undo this catastrophic legislation.

David Lieser