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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Improving health care for Greater Minnesotans has been a top goal for Minnesota House Republicans this session, and we have adopted a number of rural health initiatives over the past two years that prioritize care for our seniors and lower health care costs for rural Minnesotans.


In the House, we are advancing nursing home reforms, dental reimbursements and addressing the shortage of mental health professionals available in rural Minnesota. Initiatives assisting nursing facilities facing hardship with remodeling and renovation needs; providing assessments that assure aging adults aren't wasting money on costly, unneeded services; and creating programs designed to produce more Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) for our long-term care facilities are also moving forward. These proposals have long term cost saving and job creating benefits.


We also support letting people who qualify for MinnesotaCare receive a tax credit that allows them to have options in buying health insurance. This gives people choices in the private market and does not expand government.


This session’s health and human services budget bill tackles prescription drug costs by providing a website that not only compares pill prices but also the costs of common procedures and tests. This allows the consumer to find information, lower expenses, and make informed decisions.


As always, House Republicans continue to be concerned with health care costs for rural Minnesotans. We continue to explore all options and have thoughtful dialogue on all potential solutions.


After watching the state waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a MNsure program that was approved during one-party rule in state government, we understand it’s time to pursue some new ideas.


MNsure has devastated many rural Minnesotans through rising premium costs, falling choices, and thousands of Minnesotans losing the health plans they liked. We can't stay on this path, which is why House Republicans are taking a more responsible approach to addressing affordable health care in Greater Minnesota that will provide access while lowering the trend of skyrocketing insurance premiums.