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Reforming Health Care

I believe health care needs reform; costs are too high, too many people are uninsured, and the current system is full of waste, fraud, and abuse. Those who like their current coverage and current doctor should be able to keep them. American families need the peace of mind that they can get the care they need, when they need it.  

I support these common sense health care reforms:

  • First, as an issue of fairness we must ensure access to coverage for all Americans, and cover people with pre-existing conditions. Minnesota has long had a universal access pool for the medically uninsurable. Expanding the use of universal access pools like Minnesota’s would go a long way towards reducing the number of uninsured. 
  • Pay for quality, not quantity. We should pay our health care providers based on how well they keep patients healthy – not just for the number of tests or procedures they order. Tying money to results will help get better health care outcomes. Also, we have to reform the medical liability system and reduce frivolous lawsuits. 
  • Focus on prevention. A high portion of health care costs are often a result of treatment that comes after someone is sick or develops a serious condition. 74% of all costs are confined to four chronic conditions -cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Focusing on wellness and chronic disease management will save money before costs become prohibitively expensive. 
  • We need to fix the Medicare reimbursement problems that punish states like Minnesota that provide high-quality, low-cost care. Building new public programs on a broken existing payment system is doomed to failure. 
  • Make costs transparent so consumers understand what health care treatments cost. And, because physicians know the best care for their patients, we need doctor-led quality measures to ensure patients receive quality care.
  • Finally, we should offer patients greater choice and portability. Patients should be able to own their coverage without fear that it will be lost or taken away. 

Taking a step-by-step approach that’s focused on lowering the cost of care will improve access for everyone. That’s the right way to reform our healthcare system. 

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