MPR Special: Gubernatorial candidates' views on health care

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An MPR Special presenting interviews with all seven major party gubernatorial candidates on health care, followed by listener reaction to the candidates. Program begins with brief reports on the various candidates.

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IQ Mike 6 minutes past 11 goddamn morning and welcome to mid-day on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten by most measures Minnesota. Has it pretty good when it comes to Health Care the Mayo Clinic is renowned throughout the world do U of M is long been considered one of the nation's finest medical research facilities. The state has long been a leader in the move toward efficient Managed Care State now has a state-run healthcare program Minnesota care for people who otherwise would fall through the cracks. And of course Minnesota now has that six billion dollar tobacco settlement to spend but there are problems Minnesota seniors get far less return on their Medicare dollar than seniors in other states tens of thousands of Minnesota children don't have insurance coverage and many many minnesotans say they are unhappy with Minnesota's emphasis on that managed care approach to healthcare. This week as part of our campaign coverage leading up to next month's primary election. We've been hearing from the major candidates for Governor on the issue of Healthcare in Minnesota and how the system could be improved today on this hour at. Midday. We're going to put all those reports together back-to-back so you can hear from all the candidates at once and compare what they have to say later. This hour will be opening the phone lines. We'd like your reaction to What candidates are talking about? So I will that coming up this first hour of midday. Let's begin with the candidates. First step is Reform Party candidate. Jesse Ventura is Minnesota Public Radio is Laura McCollum. Jesse Ventura is quick to criticize Minnesota's Healthcare System, but he offers few Solutions. He says the cost of healthcare will continue to rise because the government allows hmos to limit competition instead of allowing capitalism to go on out there and allowing, you know the system to work in a free-market society know we've got socialism and touring in and socialism then Mandating to capitalism and socialism and H2 capitalism. That's a brew for trouble has managed care to a fast-food operation because patients are treated and personally and shuffled from Doctor to doctor. He also opposes establishing Universal Health Care coverage in Minnesota. Senator. Paul wellstone has introduced legislation that would allow states to provide health insurance to all residents. Ventura says that would be a grave mistake and go to socialism. It has to be done at the federal level because if you do it at the state of Minnesota level, you will get every ill person in the country will then move to Minnesota. You know to get us to foot the bill for them. It will bankrupt our state of health plans support for Universal coverage and isn't convinced it would bankrupt Minnesota exact. Director Michael scandrette says Congress would need to set some ground rules to protect States from being inundated with sick out-of-state residents one Health Care issue that sets Ventura apart is the tobacco settlement while the other candidates debate what to do with the money Ventura questions the settlement itself. He agrees with the lawsuits goal of making tobacco companies accountable but says that could be accomplished by regulating them through the FDA. He says tobacco litigation has given government another means to raise taxes back after all these billions of dollars and what did tobacco then do. Tobacco Sidwell in light of the Minnesota settlement. We have to raise taxes on cigarettes two and a half cents. So who's paying for it? The very addicted smoker that supposedly skip Humphrey was out to help State lawmakers will make that decision and if he's Governor, he'll veto the legislation if he doesn't like it, he says he would support returning the money to text errors since they didn't get the state's budget surplus although Ventura finds much to criticize about the states Healthcare System. He does support minnesotacare the states public health insurance program. He says all uninsured children should be covered by it on Laura McCullough, Minnesota Public Radio, all five of the dfl candidates for Governor have been discussing Minnesota's Healthcare System. And as we continue our survey of the candidates and where they stand let's hear from two of those DF ehlers Ted Mondale and Mike Freeman are in custody as a report on Ted Mondale for Ted Mondale all the healthcare issues that come up on the state level take a backseat to one overriding concern. The biggest on Healthcare need in the state of Minnesota is senior citizens in pharmaceutical cost to have the state help to pay for the elderlies medications under his plan. The 100,000 poor seniors would have to pay only an $8 co-payment every time they had a prescription filled and the state would pick up the rest higher income seniors could buy in the program. It's an expensive proposition Mondale estimates the annual price tag at about 150 million dollars. But as a campaign promise, it could yield Mondale big returns and September senior citizens tend to vote even in low turnout primaries and Rising drug prices are a hot-button issue for them Peter Wyckoff, the executive director of the metro area senior Federation says, he's glad mondale's paying attention to prescription drugs, but he says mondale's interest in the issue seems to be a recent development and we would be a more active in the Formal shoes when as a state senator, but his efforts in in this area. It is a real need in for that. He has to be applauded current proposal a short-term solution. He says he worries about the state giving drug companies what he calls a blank check to raise their prices and he says the state will still have to find a way to control the cost of drugs for the foreseeable future Mondale would use the state's recent multibillion-dollar settlement with the tobacco industry to pay for the prescription drug program. He says the drug program would use up about 60% of the settlement. Ask the rest of the tobacco money. He says the state should be careful not to pour too much of it into the hands of well-meaning anti-smoking groups. Let's just not deal this money out to every little group like a like a deck of cards. Let's make a real difference in people's lives and I think focusing on Crime and violence, I think focusing on senior Pharmacy cost for the two big areas where it where we need to move Mondale says he put more of the tobacco money into anti-crime programs because he sees violence as a preventable public health problem. When asked about the unmet healthcare needs of Minnesota's low-income population Mondale says the solution is a program that already exists minnesotacare which offers subsidized health insurance Mondale says the state has to do a better job of letting people know that minnesotacare exists and think about this there's a $700,000 marketing budget and we know that people who don't get their Healthcare through employers look at the Yellow Pages. And I don't think there's a yellow pages in the state that has the Minnesota CARE program in it. It's disenrolling people faster than its enrolling people and has a 200 million dollar Surplus on going in the future and 150 million dollar reserve the money. Is there in the program to go and shirt Working Families and kids. The problem is a government agency can't do it on Dale says he'd consider turning minnesotacare over to the private sector if the state does not do a better job getting people to use it. When it comes to the hottest Healthcare topic of this election year hmos Mondale has less to say is dfl Rivals have been capitalizing on the perception that hmos are too powerful or unresponsive and they've been proposing new consumer protection rules. But Mondale who does contract work for United Healthcare takes more of a cautious attitude. He says he wants to give new HMO regulation some time to take effect. He says if they don't fix the system the state should give consumers more power to shop around for better health care plans. And he says he would not rule out repealing the state law requiring hmos and hospitals to be nonprofits because he says for-profit hmos might offer Minnesota consumers a wider array of choices at the cap light Martin Castillo, Minnesota Public Radio the tax on health maintenance organizations have become standard weapons in the campaign Arsenal Mike Freeman recently launched his attack when he said if a The governor will establish a process to handle complaints that people have about the kind of care. They received from an HMO any Minnesota patient what some progress has been made on patient protection issues over the last several years. We have a long way to go. Patients must be guaranteed a full voice in their health care decisions and protection when health insurance companies fail to meet our expectations are a survey in Consumer Reports Magazine says the federal Medicare program charges minnesotans considerably higher premiums and offers fewer benefits than those living elsewhere. The disparity among states is the result of the federal government's decision to base reimbursement rates on the regional cost of healthcare Minnesota trimmed the fat from the system years ago and Freeman says the state's getting penalized for efficiency. He says he'll investigate the discrepancies and file a class action lawsuit on behalf of Minnesota seniors if he has to What the government pays $750 a month for Senior Living in Miami. They pay only a little more than $400 for a month for a senior living in Minneapolis. And even last for senior in Duluth or Mankato critics say such a lawsuit would be unprecedented and the federal policy is best dealt with at the Congressional level Freeman also wants to create a state purchasing pool to reduce prescription drug prices for older minnesotans, the multi-state plan, which of the Minnesota Department of administration purchases prescription drugs for State institutions such as Hospital in prisons in 30 States considerable discounts. Well, we passed the language in the Republican Governor veto this effort. I'll request in the 1999 legislature a one-time expenditure not to exceed $250,000 for start up cost to fund this worthy program. The problem of the uninsured runs deep Nationwide. The number of Americans without insurance is rising steadily to nearly one sixth of the population today. Freeman says Minnesota should strive to have every child insured by the year 2002 the first step he says is by making it easier to apply for a minnesotacare. The state's insurance program for the Working Poor applying give up before completing the application for and no wonder look at the application. The unfurled form stretched across the width of the room Freeman says the complex application is partly to blame for over 400,000 uninsured Minnesota has 60,000 our children. He promises to secure 28 million dollars in federal funding from the kid care program to help pay for the coverage Freeman also wants Medicare providers such as chiropractors massage therapists and midwives to be protected from charges of practicing without a license and he opposes the sale of nonprofit hospitals to for-profit chains for control 80% of the insured population in Minnesota. I believe the healthcare decision makers must be put back in the hands of local providers and patients. We must work to Foster increased Healthcare choices by allowing local communities businesses and governments or providers to create new and innovative ways of delivering in purchasing. Shovel creative efforts are emerging small business purchasing pools direct Contracting for County state governments and small carnival Health Plans offered by groups of providers. I support these efforts and we'll work to remove obstacles to their success and like most of his dfl. Gubernatorial counterparts Freeman favors legal abortion. This is Karen Louise Booth Minnesota Public Radio, you're listening to the Minnesota candidates for Governor and where they stand on the issue of Healthcare in Minnesota part of our continuing campaign coverage leading up to the September primary later this hour after we've heard from all seven of the candidates would like to hear from you and get your reaction to what the candidates are proposing. So we heard now from the Reform Party candidate in two of the dfl ersatz hear from the other 3D flr is running for governor. Skip Humphrey Doug Johnson and Mark Dayton to begin here again is Laura McCollum. To all children. He says 80,000 Minnesota children are uninsured and should be enrolled in the states subsidize medical insurance program is other priority is ensuring choice for consumers. That's where we're going to create a new market place in which you don't just have one option. You don't just have your employer's HMO, but you may very well in your employer would participate and join together in an open market place that would allow other options that you could choose from Humphrey says creating such a Marketplace will cost $250,000 and expanding Minnesota care to uninsured children will cost $80 is budget plan includes a total of 120 million + new healthcare initiatives for kids seniors and the Working Poor and Humphrey says the money to pay for them comes in part from the settlement of the states. Tobacco lawsuit when she spearheaded as attorney general, he's already been lobbying lawmakers to make sure a chunk of the settlement goes to anti-smoking programs. The greatest opportunity that this state has ever have to give liberally to give the gift of Life longer healthier life to that first generation of children in the 21st century. That's that's what that lawsuit was all about Humphrey often calls the push to find anti-smoking efforts II Mountain the state has to climb following its legal battle with tobacco companies. He's in the process of establishing a nonprofit organization called the Minnesota partnership for action against tobacco and thinks about 11% of the settlement money should be dedicated to smoking cessation and prevention that still leaves the bulk of the 6.1 billion dollar settlement for other spending priorities with 2-humphrey include education crime prevention and tax cuts. The vast majority of the settlement money is going to be in the hands of a legislature and the governor and that means that the people of Minnesota voters in Minnesota must be attentive. To what what is being recommended with its use I think if we wisely and prudently use those dollars we can see that we will ensure a much better life for Citizens all the way around me says Minnesota has one of the best Healthcare Systems in the country and he opposes any effort to change that by allowing for-profit HMO. He hasn't attacked hmos like many of his opponents. What does advocate full funding for a consumer Advocacy Office established by the legislature Humphrey says, he would not support any legislation that restricts legalized abortion, but will continue to work on efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies. He says he's the only candidate who has worked with both sides of the abortion issue to create a program called and they education now and babies later. I'm Laura McCullum, Minnesota Public Radio, Doug Johnson cautiously endorses the idea of for-profit hmos in Minnesota if they would give patients More options, you know, I'm really torn on the idea of what's happening in in Minnesota as far as the nonprofit hmos and whether they should be competition. I'm leaning now to getting more competition into the into the healthcare industry in the state what's happening with the with the hmos in Minnesota. Now, I'm finding more and more folks that go to the doctor go to the hospital or being denied coverage being denied. The choices in health care Johnson is the state's aging population and the consequences that demographic shift will have for senior citizens their families and the healthcare infrastructure according to State demographers between now and the year 2025. The number of people over the age of 70 in Minnesota will increase almost 60% Johnson says and taking care of his own mother he can come Did nursing homes aren't the ideal settings for elderly people. He wants to help senior citizens live in their own homes, or with people. They know isn't it? Not much attention has been given to it. And that's the only issue of long-term care and we have an aging population. We're going to have a less tax payers of paying the bill when more and more of a boss retire and so I have a plan that's being put together. It's being developed. It was part of the Senate tax bill the 1998 session where the State Department of Human Services and the State Department of Revenue is developing a tax credit proposal to help senior citizens stay out of the nursing homes that Johnson is critical of fellow candidate Ted mondale's proposal to have Minnesota pay for more Senior Citizens Medical prescriptions Monday. Has advocated using money from the state's tobacco settlement to create a prescription trust fund Johnson says that's just letting the federal government Off The Hook by using tobacco settlement money is for that. I think that we should go to Washington and have Minnesota senior citizens treated like senior citizens in Florida and some of the other states. I were there prescription drugs. In fact are covered by the health insurance companies that administer the Medicare money Johnson Advocates using part of the settlement funds for medical research at places like the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. He says another portion should be used to cut the healthcare tax that funds minnesotacare but I would do is eliminate the unfair unfriendly a healthcare tax. It's called a provider tax. It's not one and a half percent. I scheduled to go to 2% Anytime you go to a clinic you go to see the doctor. You're in the hospital. There's a hidden tax applied call the provider tax. I called a 6 tax going to get rid of that text first and I think there's sufficient money then to expand expand coverage for the uninsured Johnson estimates the tax break would total 326 million dollars and he says he would install a tough Commerce commissioner who would make sure insurance companies pass on the savings to Consumers and could I guarantee that you would not be that it wouldn't would not be a past in I think there be a pretty strong chance if we had good strong regulation by the Department of Commerce of the insurance industry Johnson is the only dfl candidate who opposes legalized abortion on that issue. He resembles Republican candidate Norm Coleman Johnson. Cuz if elected he has no specific plans to pursue abortion legislation in Duluth. I'm a mere Adel Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark date and like many politicians across the country is calling for broader consumer protections for patients set up with the limits imposed by Health maintenance organizations in the state of Minnesota and consumers of Minnesota the patience of Minnesota and stand up on their behalf to these big providers and say we have these expectations and you got to beat him if he wants to give minnesotans the right to sue their hmos for malpractice under current Minnesota law of patients do not have the right to sue. What do you believe is proper care by your Beacham over other healthcare provider. Are you if you want to seek a remedy to that or even change the decision to 9 care you will Embark upon a bureaucratic maze that makes even the federal government look efficient and timely critics of Dayton's proposal say Minnesota already has some of the nation's strongest patient protection laws in the country and patience can sue if they're hmos violate the terms of a plans contract Dayton says, he also wants to set up a 24-hour State hotline and independent panel to rule on complaints and he supports a patient's right to choose a doctor. He's proposing what he calls any willing provider legislation. That's what my kids in second in a crisis and I'm told I can't get the doctor. I want to see I'm told this doctor prescribes a treatment and somebody else some name was Private sector bureaucrats is no you can have it critics say such stories are misleading because they're anecdotal and don't reflect the kind of care. Most HMO patients are receiving the date says the acid test is public opinion. And right now public opinion is weighing against the system Dayton says, he also wants to reduce the state's cost for minncare the state's insurance program by requiring all Minnesota businesses to provide health care for every employee and his or her family. He says full-time employees should get full coverage and benefits for part-time employees should be prorated like it. Should be exceptions and exemptions for those which can't afford it to legitimately because of size or like a profitability on the other hand. There are a lot of these big retail and food chain operations, which can absolutely afford to provide health insurance for their employees who don't and is a say then we pick up the cost. At no additional cost to the state. He says he'll work with in current state spending on Healthcare. They'll just make it more efficient on the controversial issue of abortion Dayton favors legal abortion and has no legislative agenda on the issue pending. This is Karen Louise Booth Minnesota Public Radio. If you're just joining us, we're hearing this hour from all the candidates for Governor on the issue of Health Care in just how the system in Minnesota can be improved like to remind you that we're hoping to hear from you as well today to get your reactions to what the candidates have to say. But before we hear from you before we open the phone lines, let's hear from the final major candidate in the primary election field next month Republican Norm Coleman here with that report is Minnesota public radio's Martin Koski have a comprehensive plan to change Healthcare Minnesota instead. He says he'll bring to healthcare the same philosophy applies to most other issues. I believe in choice and comp Titian kind of a general philosophy. So if you talk to people about health care, I mean the big frustration foremost minnesotans for most minnesotans is can I get my doctor tie a basic tie one quality service and end that that that that's a changing world and I and I got it I'm leaving as I see him when I don't have all the answers to that one of the health care questions other candidates of raise this year is what to do with minnesotacare the state-run subsidized health insurance program. The program is safely in the black financially and some Democrats say it's time to let more minnesotans join including low-income people who don't have dependent children. Coleman says he has not made up his mind on where he would take the program I believe in and I say this as a text because I want to be careful about spending. But here's what you can do. We should I believe in the safety-net. I believe in the safety net. And what men carry does is it provides that safety-net? My concern about men care is the one and a half cent another tax. If another tax that's how you pay for that and I have a concern about that tax. One of the things that that that I would look at with some of the money from Cincinnati. Tobacco settlement that's going to be there. You see use those dollars to it to replace that text and then took that should be able to infect expand Medicare but I'm not going to call for any Spanish without saying here's how I'm going to pay for it Coleman and most of his dfl Rivals do part ways on one of the most controversial of perennial Healthcare issues abortion. Coleman calls himself pro-life something. He reaffirmed at the Republican convention in June, but four out of the five dfl is running against Tim say they would defend legalized abortion if Coleman is elected governor. There's little he could do. YouTube an abortion out. Right since the US Supreme Court has effectively taken the issue out of States hands, but Tim Stanley the co-director of the Minnesota affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League says a governor Coleman would still make a difference in the number of pieces of antitrust legislation that were introduced in the legislature and the governor, as you know, has veto power over any Anti-Trust legislation. So, you know, you were talking about mandatory waiting periods and bias counseling laws for women who are choosing to access services. And also the Governor has veto power over any so-called partial birth abortion bans controversial late term abortion procedure is likely to come up again next year. I majority Coalition of Republicans India Fellers approve the band in the house this spring but the Senate blocked it Governor Carlson who favors legalized abortion. Has also stood in the way of the band but a governor Coleman would likely sign it Coleman says Banning the procedure is what most minnesotans want with the Democrats want to do is kind of paint me on the far right thing being the great radical. I don't think things like changing the law on partial birth abortion is very radical mistake could stand to change on that. We shouldn't be having partial birth with Democrats are saying that the quality of care offered by hmos is another healthcare issue likely to come up during the next Administration. There. Are those the capital who say it may soon be time to let for-profit companies in to Minnesota's unusual. Nonprofit Healthcare Market. Coleman says, he has not decided whether he'd want to preserve the nonprofit requirement, but here again, he applies his overarching philosophy if he thinks it would increase competition in the marketplace. He says he'd consider it. At the capitoline Martin kosti Minnesota Public Radio. So now we've heard from all the candidates for Governor of Minnesota Health Care System. Next. We'd like to hear from you and get your reactions to what the candidates are saying. We should the state help seniors pay for their prescription drugs. Should the state require all businesses to offer Health Care coverage to their employees. What should be done with the tobacco money. Should the stadium pole is more regulations on the hmos. Should the state allow for-profit hmos operate Minnesota. Those are just some of the candidate proposal so that we've been listening to and would like you to react to so give us a call 227-6020 area number to 276 Thousand Oaks on the Twin Cities 1 800 to +422-828-227-6000 or one 800-242-2828 and we'll get you are first callers in just a moment. I'm learning Benson on the next All Things Considered since prehistoric times people have walked the Labyrinth says a form of spiritual meditation. Modern thinkers are enjoying a labyrinth at a Catholic order in St. Paul. The metaphor is so perfect because if you just keep on the path. You get where you want to go that story plus the rest of the news on all things considered weekdays at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio k n o w FM 91.1 in the Twin Cities radio coverage of moral issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening rural communities through the community leadership program reminder over the noon hour. Today. We're going to be talking some more about the US cruise missile strikes against terrorist or alleged terrorist operations in Afghanistan and sedan and the reaction to those strikes that's coming up over the noon hour today the forecast calls for a sunny to partly sunny Sky across and most of Minnesota today chance for some showers in the South with eyes today. Low 7 Days in the Northeast mid 80s in the South sunny in the Twin Cities with a high in the mid-80s. There is a good chance for rain in the Twin City area. And in fact cross most of Minnesota tomorrow and Sunday right now in the Twin Cities, we have a sunny sky and 78° lots of callers on the line already with some reactions to what they've heard from the candidates for Governor on the issue of healthcare. And again, if you would like to join them to 276 thousand is our Twin City area number to 276 thousand. I'll try the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free and that number is one 800-242-2828. Let's go to our first caller. Good morning. I'm calling with a couple of, you know, there's so much confusion about what the issues are to be what they are. Why don't we just make it very simple and and just go for what president and mrs. Clinton had proposed about four years ago namely that we need to get to a point where we have Universal. Health insurance that is discrimination free free of discrimination based upon age and based upon pre-existing conditions medical conditions. Would you like to see that at the state level lower the national? Well, obviously that needs to take place at the national level the other at the state level. However, some of our feeble attempts to deal with this such as men care if that's all then carry is an absolute lie a sham and the Frog Prince hippolyte, but not only because of the $10,000 annual exclusion. It's no trick at all to run up a hospital bill that vastly exceeds that and you'll be wiped out if you ever encounter something like that. So that is not Insurance. That's low and coverage. All right, and an N for the state to include in their statistics of who's insured or what percentage of the population is ensure doing for the state to include those people that are quot-cover done quote by men care is is part of that. That's another reason why it's a liar and a fraud and a champ. They would you like to hear the candidates then call for scrapping minnesotacare. Why not? Why not? Why not? How about as an alternative allow those people to just simply by into medical assistance, which does not carry any as I understand. It does not carry any cap on it and it also turns out it's about according to newspaper article a couple of months ago. It amounts to about $2,200 a year for the cost of that. At least that's what I The government well, thanks for your suggestion, sir. Appreciate it. Okay, let's move on to another caller who's been listening to what the candidates have been saying on Healthcare and has some reaction band. That would be you. What do you think? What's the constantly put all these burdens upon the employers and from all the discussions I've heard about that. That can't be extended much farther putting more and more people on with Sigler with more of these increase the responsibilities for healthcare. I think it's time for the people of Minnesota at least if not the nation. To just take on the burden of ensuring everyone whether they're employed or not. And and no matter what kind of employment and work out some way of assisting them to get insurance General obligation of the people of the state has been Torah says if we do that we will go bankrupt because everybody who's got any kind of illness whatsoever will move here. That's perhaps something would have to deal with but I'm not I'm not concerned about it. Thanks for your call move on to another caller who's on the line with some reactions to what the candidates for Governor have been saying on the issue of healthcare Kimberly. Yes, I was just calling because I heard. Johnson refer to the provider tax as what he called the sick tax and I've been feeling very strongly about this for some time that the provider tax is actually unfair taxation of people who are ill who are in distress and medical expenses are high as it is and I don't think that the funds should come from people who are already using medical care. I really feel that funds for that should come from a general source to benefit needy people. You would like to see can I read into your comments that you would like to see the Minnesota Care Program continue just with a different source of money and they really are needed people and I'm not against that at all, but I do feel that it is unfair and it is a sick packs. Your reactions to what the candidates have been saying about the issue of healthcare and it's for governor. That is of course. We've got the big election coming up here on the 15th of September, which is a lot closer than you may think. It's only about three weeks from now. And so we've been focusing this week on the issue of healthcare broadcasting the reports and all the candidates positions and now we'd like to get your reactions to what candidates been saying David your next. I'm wondering if the owners couldn't be put on the health industry rather than on the the recipients of Care Now by opening it up more to competition. I think more competition is the only way that it's going to the prices of healthcare by to come down and I think I'd like to see more of that open the door for these for-profit hmos The dollar drive and if they have to provide a level of service at a certain level of cost with no safety net. I think in the long run people would benefit I could we do. All right. Thanks for call 227-6000. If you'd like to call her join our callers on the line to 276 thousand in the Twin City area outside the Twin Cities 1 800 to +422-828-227-6000 or one 800-242-2828 asking this hour for your reactions to what the candidates for Governor have been saying about Minnesota's healthcare system and how it might be improved Jerry. There was a study done by a lineup that show that 2/3 of minnesotans now use some form of natural holistic health care. And are the Minnesota Department of Health released recently did a study on this subject at the request of the legislature on complementary and alternative medicine? And there's a situation in Minnesota in which there have been what I feel is unwarranted attacks on many holistic and alternative providers by the medical board. Even when there have been no patients harmed department of health study looked at that and they made a recommendation that freedom of practice legislation which allows providers to continue providing Services. As long as there is the service is not shown to be dangerous or harmful should be considered. Do you like to hear the cats weigh in on that and some of the candidates of a one of the candidates Mike Freeman in support of that recommendation? Thanks for call Jerry move on to another collar with us. Some comments on with the accounts have been saying a Vivian done with Jerry just said I know that you would Humphrey was very much against alternative practitioners when he brought Helen Healy and subpoenaed her to the States, but that blew off that was stepped. She had won the suits and she is an alternative practitioner, but I also have not heard anybody talking about chemical dependency or mental health and that concerns me a great deal. I'd like to hear that brought into the healthcare issues as well. What would you like to do? I'd like to hear them support A diversity of models offered and Afraid airing of various types of programming for chemical dependency treatment. So that people are not stuck with only one model. I'd also like to hear them talking about mental health and supporting the fact that there are a lot of people who are depressed in our area people who experience seasonal affective disorder the hmos do not always cover light boxes and other forms of treatment that work and we just need to see an expansion of coverage on both in both of those areas are us a call and we'll join just for Minneapolis. Good morning. Hello thinking that why we don't have I think that is very important that the state does take care of its citizens. And sort of fix a hand that feeds at like it when people get hurt I think it is important for the state to pick up the pieces that is opposed to a leaving them broken and unproductive fit. So it's important. I think it's from economics and tax base and point to but my main thing I think he likes when we set up a lottery why we didn't use that as up a beautiful funding mechanism. When you go buy your lottery ticket, you know, you're helping to pay for your health care and you can see a tangible cost and a tangible benefit and an associate the two and I don't play the lottery cuz I don't like gambling but you know, I might play it if if it went to pay for something but I do think what would it pay for? What do you use that money to pay for the existing Minnesota CARE program or what are you talking about? I think that ultimately we do need to have A system where everyone is covered because what happens to the people that aren't covered and can't have their bodies repaired. They do not hang around the fringes and and just soak up more tax money. And if the state can pay to keep people healthy and productive it has a you know, what relieves other types of tax burdens on society by keeping people in the in good working order so they can be productive and contribute to the society and then Lottery would be a good way to pay for it when they need to be repaired so they can stay productive because the alternative is only a greater burden on society. Let's see Bill your necks. Go ahead plays. Good morning. How are you this morning? I was fine. But I'd like to comment from a provider standpoint. We see you in our family practice about 450 patients a day. And I've got to say as a provider who has tried to take care of people and make Healthcare affordable. I have to pay that the Minnesota CARE program has been a total disaster and in the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota CARE program is to programs one is for the Working Poor and the uninsured what weed which way is providers totally support. Although there. It's a sickness packs like the lady had mentioned earlier that's being used to do that, which is terribly tragic because really taxing sick children at 16 years. We need to really focus on the other minnesotacare, which is purely destroyed the delivery system in the state of Minnesota, you know, we've lost my fellow providers. We've lost 2404 this instance minnesotacare has gone into 2 a factor of the bureaucratization if you weld a beer could cash it while I'm missing the word there. Sizing of the healthcare system really what we have left. You know very well is we have no competition. We have three basically for hmos left and they've become money managers. They're basically mutual funds that are managing money not care and we really have distorted the whole perspective of what health care is all about what insurance is all about, you know, we need catastrophic coverage for like some of the colleges said we need to protect the vulnerable people in the state of Minnesota and and we are not doing it with putting it all into the health department and creating legislative practice of medicine legislators practically medicine bureaucrats practicing medicine instead of Physicians and patients. How do you spell tragedies what happened to the Physicians and nurses in the wonderful men and women out here trying to take care of patients. So I need a major overhaul of our system Gary. Let me clarify here quickly then. Like to see more competition in the healthcare industry here. So they would you like to see the Minnesota Care Program abolished or are you in support of that? It was designed to confuse the public because they're to Minnesota CARE program. So when you ask that question what I think we should have is a safety net for all of our vulnerable people are population, which was was part of one of the Minnesota care programs for the Working Poor and uninsured but you see the trouble with your question. It was designed by the bureaucrats to trouble the public was when you asked that question. There's another Minnesota Care Program who at everyone who Advocates the centralization of the government-run system like we have in the state of Minnesota you when you answer that question, it's the Program that has to be totally removed from the state of Minnesota because right now the governing body for the hmos is isolated in the health department. Where as the rest of the insurance industry, which provides are used to provide products 60% of the insurance companies are gone in the state of Minnesota for competition is regulated by Commerce. It's it is absolutely nonsense have the hmos late in the health department under those regulations. They should be over in Commerce where they can compete directly with the other insurance companies. All right, Bill. I'm going to thank you very much. A lot of time left, but we sure when I get at least one or two more comments Melanie. Is that medicine is like any other industry it's made up of individuals who are not there to serve the public that there to make a profit and to make a living in a minute. You start taking that away from people you what you lose the best Minds that I'm into the industry because I know there's there's they don't they don't have to say it me how many people would become radio broadcasters or piano teachers if the government was telling him how much they had to charge where they could go who they could see I mean a minute you're the government stepped into an industry, you lose all sense of competition and you know that the people who rise to the top the best why you think people come to this country for medical care and let me let me ask you this, when you say that what the let's clarify briefly hear you want to get the the state entirely out of the business of regulating any kind of healthcare mandating anything and do you want to get scrap the Minnesota Care Program don't know what they're doing. I mean the doctors and the nurses are the ones that need to be to be in a rise up here and say hey we are human beings also who have a right to practice or to do our job and no government should come in and tell us Which we can charge or who we can see the minute that happens, you know, if there's a it's just chaos. It just Falls. Let's move on to at least one more call her Mike. I think you may get the last word. Go ahead thing. I have it's just not happening. You had insurance pays 20% limited to the amount that they can pay on a build like it will cost $100. I can repay you say $70 in the bank and has to pay the return of the rest of the payment and people will look to see what they're spending comment for the state level of people. Governor candidates, so it's not really cuz you said I was more of a federal Medicare tax out of time. I wish we had time for more of your comments, but I sure appreciate those of you who've been with us this hour listening to the candidates and reacting to what the candidates have been saying on the issue of Health Care Now next week. We're going to shift our Focus here at Minnesota Public Radio talk about Economic Development find out where the candidates stand on economically development issues will have those reports through the week and again a nice summary program coming up on midday. That's next week. I'm a little pain, recent satellite data show a glacier in the heart of Antarctica is shrinking rapidly other glaciers around the world from Alaska to Africa are also melting how will this affect sea level join us later on the next Science Friday for a look at melting glaciers and it what low-lying areas are doing to prepare for sea-level rise next Talk of the Nation from NPR news. That next Talk of the Nation will come up at 1 this afternoon over the noon hour. Today. We're going to focus once again on the US cruise missile strikes against those alleged terrorist pants will be talking about that over the noon hour right now. It's time for The Writer's Almanac.


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