Minnesota citizens, the healthiest in the nation, deserve access to quality, comprehensive, affordable and portable universal health care. I have worked in a bi-partisan way to expand access to health care to more Minnesotans in a fiscally responsible way. We are trying to build a health care system that will pay to keep people healthy.
While healthcare costs skyrocket, many Minnesotans, including many children, have no health insurance. The uninsured and underinsured receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced disease stages, are less likely to receive proper medical care for common childhood illnesses, and are more likely to have untreated vision problems. Many Minnesotans, although fortunate enough to have healthcare coverage, are paying a disproportionate share of their income for this coverage. To illustrate, a Families USA survey found:
* 1 in 5 Minnesotans (1 million people) pay more than 10% of their income for health care.
* 250,000 Minnesotans with insurance pay more than 25% of their income for health care.
* Three working-aged Minnesotans die each week due to lack of health insurance.
I have witnessed the impact on quality of life that the lack of access to affordable health care has. Providing healthcare for all will remain one of my highest legislative priorities.