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Health Care Update

Congressman Erik Paulsen’s Plan for Comprehensive Health Care Reform

Congressman Paulsen believes 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. Ultimately, any reform plan should provide peace of mind for American families that they can get the care they need, when they need it. 

Congressman Paulsen supports these common sense health care reforms:

• Don’t allow insurance companies to deny coverage to 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 to 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. Additionally, enacting medical liability reform would also help reduce the costs that result from defensive medicine.

• 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 who provide high-quality, low-cost care. Building a new public program on a broken existing payment system is doomed to failure. 

• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health care treatments costs.

• Finally, we need to enact common-sense insurance market reforms measures to expand coverage by permitting kids stay on their parents’ plan until they are 26, allowing insurance to be bought and sold across state lines like we do with car insurance, allowing small businesses to pool together to purchase cheaper insurance, and leveling the playing field by giving the same tax benefits to those with non-employer sponsored coverage. 

By taking these steps, we would make serious progress in reducing health care costs and, in turn, improve access for everyone.  Additionally, we would significantly reduce the ranks of the uninsured across the spectrum.