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Column: Medicare for All becomes Medicare for None

Hagedorn

WASHINGTON — Since I took office in January, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has focused the House’s work on politically motivated investigations and bills littered with left-wing notions that will never be enacted into law. In all, it’s been four months of resistance to President Trump’s policy goals of border security, economic growth and preservation of our Constitutional rights.

Recently, Pelosi forced a political show vote on a non-binding resolution for continued support of Obamacare. I joined 185 of my fellow Republicans, and neighboring Democrat Collin Peterson from Minnesota’s 7th District, in voting “no.”

Prior to Obamacare, more than 90 percent of Minnesotans had health insurance with a high-risk, insurance company-funded pool to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

Regrettably, Obamacare limited health insurance choice, ended countless patient-doctor relationships and forced tens of thousands of Minnesotans to pay unaffordable premiums of $15,000 or more, with deductibles so outrageous the underlying policies are virtually worthless.

Democrats who promised you could “keep your doctor, keep your plan and save $2,500 per year” now blame Republicans for their Obamacare failures.

Democrats want to “fix” Obamacare with even more federal control of our health care. Already, more than 100 House Democrats have co-sponsored the single-payer approach of Medicare for All.

I oppose this socialist scheme because it would end private health insurance for 180 million Americans, underfund and degrade the world’s finest medical care and force massive tax increases to pay the $32 trillion price tag.

Medicare for All would destroy our region’s economic growth and put at risk 100,000 southern Minnesota jobs tied to medical care.

Medicare for All becomes Medicare for None.

By contrast, I support an array of solutions to re-establish patient-centered medical care and promote competition, require price-transparency and place downward pressure on the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs.

Some of the common-sense solutions I am fighting for in Congress, include:

  • Establishing high-risk insurance pools (financed by insurance companies, backed-up by federal and state governments and administered by the states) to protect all Americans with pre-existing and expensive medical needs.

  • Price transparency for all elective medical care, tests and prescription drugs to promote competition and shopping

  • Individual tax reform to create flexible savings accounts so all Americans can use pre-tax income to pay for out-of-pocket medical care, prescription drugs, optical, dentistry, etc.

  • Expansion of insurance associations to create pools of policy-holders, encourage nationwide competition and lower premiums and deductibles.

  • Directing Health and Human Services to contract with private firms to efficiently produce generic drugs, such as insulin, and offer low-cost products directly to patients.

I have been meeting with hospital leaders, patients and medical groups from across the district, including in cities like New Ulm, Winona and Rochester, about the need for patient-centered care.

Southern Minnesotans sent me to Congress to protect our interests, values and way of life. On medical care, I’m working with my colleagues to enact solutions to facilitate patient choice, drive down health insurance prices and maintain the world’s finest medical care. I encourage my colleagues to join me.

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