Last night I volunteered to help out at a community informational meeting regarding the Minnesota Health Plan. This is the bill regarding health care reform in Minnesota. John Marty is the chief author. MUHCC sponsored this meeting. The purpose was to inform community members why we need health care reform and what passing this bill will do for Minnesotans.
There was a welcome and introduction by Senator Sandy Rummel (SD53), Representative Paul Gardner (SD53A) and Representative Carolyn Laine (HD50A).
The first speaker was Dr. David Mair, who is a board certified psychiatrist who works with patients with severe and persistent mental illness. He's also a member of the steering committee of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He told the audience why he sees a need for change in health care. He gave a nice PowerPoint presentation with graphs and statistics. He also gave anecdotes of patients (names omitted, of course) who are victims of the insurance industry and thus could not get the help they needed.
The next speaker was Senator John Marty, the author of the Minnesota Health Act and the Minnesota Health Plan. He described to the audience what MHP is and how it would work. His expertise in this subject was excellent.
The third and last speaker was supposed to be Nancy Breymeier from the Metropolitan Independent Business Alliance, but unfortunately she was ill and could not make it. One of her business associates took her place and told exactly why the Minnesota Health Plan will be good for small business owners.
The final segment of the meeting was devoted to questions from the audience. The answers were given by a panel comprised of Senator John Marty, Dr. David Mair and Kip Sullivan (author of The Health Care Mess).
In attendance was Brian Klaas, Policy Director for the campaign office of Mark Dayton, who is a gubernatorial candidate. Dayton is openly supportive of health care reform and the single payor option.