Joe Perske for MN Senate
I came across this article in the Star Tribune the other day. Going door to door and talking face to face this year I’ve heard your anger and frustration about health care issues. There is no question, we need a solution to replace our health care system of outrageous increases in premiums, deductibles, and prescription medication. We have neighbors in our community being denied access to affordable health care for pre-existing conditions and that is simply wrong. It get it. It doesn’t matter to me who the players are, I’m willing to work enthusiastically with anyone at the table to fix this. Voters elected politicians to solve this two years ago. This year we have a chance to reset our place at the table on health care. Let’s get it done this time. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, yet desperately requires a common sense Minnesota solution. I'm ready to go to work on day one. Vote for Joe Perske as your new Minnesota State Senator. See article below.
By Glenn Howatt Star Tribune READ ARTICLE AT STAR TRIBUNE
"The number of Minnesotans without health insurance rose last year for the first time since 2013, when the Affordable Care Act took full effect, according to a U.S. Census report that was closely watched because of the continuing battle over the law's legacy. Some 243,000 Minnesotans lacked health insurance last year, an increase of 18,000 people from 2016, the bureau said in a report released Wednesday morning.
Still, at just 4.5 percent, Minnesota has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country. Nationwide, the uninsured rate leveled off at 8.8 percent, or 28.5 million people.
Wednesday's release took on special significance because of recent efforts by the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans to scale back the 2010 federal health insurance law, often called Obamacare. The share of uninsured people in Minnesota and nationally plummeted as the law took effect, and public officials have been waiting to see if that trend continued into 2017.
Minnesota was one of 14 states where the number of uninsured rose last year. The rate fell in three states.
This is the second study to show that health coverage is dropping in Minnesota.
A survey by the Minnesota Health Department, which used different methods, found that the uninsured rate jumped to 6.5 percent in 2017 from 4.3 percent in 2015, also the first increase since 2013.
'What is of particular concern is that the uninsurance rate increased at a time of reasonable economic prosperity,' said Stefan Gildemeister, the state's health economist at the Health Department.
Minnesota is still a long way from the 2013 uninsured rate of 8.2 percent, but the 2017 uptick comes as some components of the state's insurance system show weakening.
'I think it is significant and is something we have to watch," said Lynn Blewett, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health who studies health policy and coverage data. "The concern is that the trend is going up.'
One long-standing reason why so many Minnesotans have health insurance is that the state's employers are above average in providing the benefit to workers. But employer coverage has shrunk gradually over the last decade as health care costs rose relentlessly.
'If this continues to soften, it creates real worry because we don't have a safety net for people [who have] a job and good income to get affordable insurance coverage,' Gildemeister said.
Another factor behind the upturn could be instability in Minnesota's individual insurance market. Although only about 5 percent of Minnesotans buy health insurance directly, the number of people buying such coverage peaked in 2015 at about 309,000 and has fallen to 162,000 as of last March.
During that time, premiums spiked for 2017, driving many people away. The Legislature stepped in with rebates for some, as well as financial support for the insurance companies, actions that have helped stabilize premiums and coverage.
'The expense of medical care and the expense of insurance premiums mean that people are making decisions all the time about whether they will be covered this month or this year,' said Jim Schowalter, chief executive of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, which represents the state's major health insurers."