To the editor:
I was disappointed by Senator Gary Dahms' end of session vote for HF 8, the "Unified Trust Accounts Bill." The bill was designed to divert federal tax credits into accounts managed by corporate insurance brokers.
While the bill itself was lacking in transparency, its route through the legislature was equally suspect. Authors Hann and Gottwalt used such underhanded tactics as to swap bill numbers in the middle of the night before pushing (now) HF 8 through on a party line vote. Every Republican (excluding one) in both chambers voted in favor of the bill while every Democrat voted against it. Fortunately, Gov. Dayton vetoed HF 8.
If the Affordable Care Act is designed to make health care more accessible to Minnesotans, then what justifies support of a bill that takes federal funds allotted by the ACA, mixes them with private funds and then places them under the control of corporate insurance brokers with no real oversight?
Under our current health care system HMOs bank big reserves by taking our premium dollars and forcing more Minnesotans into higher deductible plans, squeezing families out of getting care. Why would we trust insurance corporations to fix the problem if they're the ones benefiting from the broken system?
Senator Dahms should withdraw his support from the Unified Trust Account Bill and should support building a Minnesota health exchange that is governed by and for the people of Minnesota.