The 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial race is nearing its end. On November 6th, 2018, Minnesotan’s will decide who will replace Mark Dayton, who has served as Governor since 2011. With several candidates from each party heading into the August primaries, voters still have time to decide which candidate best aligns with their vision for the future.
One big topic still up for debate? Healthcare.
DFL candidate, Erin Murphy, recently spent time in Rochester, MN. Murphy, formerly a St. Paul transplant nurse who led the Minnesota Nurses Association, has made healthcare the focus of her gubernatorial campaign. Murphy is specifically interested in the idea of expanding MinnesotaCare as a way to move toward single payer healthcare in the state.
What is MinnesotaCare
Back in the early 1990s, affordable healthcare was a key issue for voters. Riding that wave, Minnesota passed a healthcare reform bill in 1992 which resulted in the creation of MinnesotaCare: a program for low to middle income workers who were not otherwise able to obtain affordable healthcare. The goal of this bill was to increase healthcare access to all Minnesotans.
As someone with a sharp healthcare focus, there is no doubt Murphy came to Rochester last month to gain the support of this world-renowned medical community.
On her trip, Murphy said, “I think it’s time to open up MinnesotaCare, that tested and trusted program that has been in Minnesota for 26 years, and allow anybody who chooses to buy into MinnesotaCare.”
To do so, Murphy would need to remove the program’s historical restrictions on eligibility and income. According to the Brian Todd of the Post Bulletin, MinnesotaCare is currently available only to “…individuals who do not have access to Medicare Part A or are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Anyone who has access to insurance through other means, such as employers, is ineligible.”
The future of healthcare
In the eight years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, it is apparent that healthcare is still a priority for Americans. Erin Murphy is only one voice in the chorus of candidates singing out their plan for the future of Minnesota. Only the voters, though, can truly decide what the future of healthcare will look like in our great state.