KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Minnesota Delegation Wary Of Proposed Health Care Reform

"Here's a little secret you might not know about the health care reform being debated in Washington: Minnesota might not want it," Minnesota Public Radio reports. The state's congressional delegation is "not sure that the potential cures for the system - requiring everyone to have insurance, expanding Medicare or taxing health benefits - won't be worse than what currently ails health care." Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., is critical of the additional taxes proposed to help pay for the overhaul. "What they're talking about doing here is just adding some more gasoline to the fire that's going to burn down this country. And I'm not going to go along with that," Peterson says.

"Most members of Minnesota's delegation think some kind of health mandate is a good idea," but they "agree" that a public option in the Medicare model is "a bad deal for the state. The Mayo Clinic, for instance, provides world-class care, but gets half the Medicare payments doctors get in Miami. Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that's because Medicare pays for what doctors do, not how well it works." Rep. Michele Bachman, R-Minn., agrees with Klobuchar and "said Medicare sets a bad precedent and that it needs to be fixed first ... So while Minnesotans in Congress say something needs to be done about health care, they're leery that changes will look too much like existing federal programs" (Nelson, 7/14).

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