Today, the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda was filled with the voices of hundreds of concerned Minnesotans as they articulated a grave unease in the future for healthcare. Nurses, farmers, faith leaders and concerned citizens all feel the need for high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare, and to stop giving handouts to insurance corporations. Governor Dayton has proposed a common sense solution – expand MinnesotaCare as an option for all Minnesotans buying individual insurance.
Today’s rally, organized by ISAIAH, Land Stewardship Project, Minnesota Nurses Association and TakeAction Minnesota, included testimonies by individuals sharing personal stories of the importance of forward-thinking healthcare solutions. They signed hundreds of valentine cards addressed to Governor Dayton, thanking him for putting his heart into healthcare solutions by proposing MinnesotaCare buy-in option for Minnesotans buying individual insurance policies, and urging him to resist giveaways to insurance companies.
Chants such as “Everyone In, No One Out” rang through the halls of the Capitol expressing the need for a public option that is accessible by all Minnesotans. Several speakers lifted up the phrase, “No More Profit Over People” in opposition to the idea of more subsidies for wealthy insurance companies.
“Somehow, we’ve got to get Minnesota Legislators to place the priority of healthcare for Minnesotans before the profits of insurance companies,” said James Kanne, Franklin Minnesota Dairy Farmer. “Minnesota needs a better plan than turning over $150 million dollars of state taxpayer money per year for a reinsurance plan to corporate insurance companies without accountability.”
“Governor Dayton has taken a strong step toward a healthcare system that works for all of us, by allowing all Minnesotans to buy into Minnesotacare. MinnesotaCare was created 25 years ago with bipartisan support, and is a key pillar in establishing Minnesota’s position as a national leader in access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said Rev. Eric Hoffer, senior pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park. “We have a strong public healthcare system that we know works. Let’s do the just and moral thing of offering everyone an opportunity at the table of health and wholeness.”
Rally participants also visited their legislators to press for public healthcare options instead of insurance industry giveaways. The overall message was clear, “We aren’t going away,” said Hoffer. “We will continue to fight for all to have accessibility and affordability in living well. The costs of health cannot continue to make us sick. Minnesota needs to keep leading the way for healthcare that works for all.”