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Press Release, State Efforts

US of Care Announces Minnesota Health Care Policy Resource Guide

Published On September 18, 2018

By: Tom Kise

Minneapolis, MN United States of Care (USofCare), a non-profit dedicated to affordable health care for every single American, has released its inaugural Minnesota Health Care Policy Resource Guide.

The guide focuses on our co-headquarters state Minnesota, which has been a long time national leader in expanding coverage and access to health care. Because of this, the state boasts one of the highest rates of insurance coverage in the nation; 94% of Minnesotans have coverage, which is 3% above the national average.

While Minnesota has made bipartisan strides to address costs and improve accessibility, the state is still confronting many health care challenges. USofCare is committed to ensuring that policymakers in our home state have the information they need as they develop and consider policies to address both state and federal health care challenges.  

The Health Care Policy Resource Guide is a resource for current and potential policy makers in Minnesota to familiarize themselves with the health care landscape of their state. The Health Care Policy Resource Guide analyzes state trends in health care, including social disparities of health, insurance costs, and other upcoming areas of concern.

In it, we lay out a 2019 Minnesota Health Care To-Do List:

Immediate needs

  • Addressing Minnesota’s approaching funding cliff.
    • The state’s Health Care Access Fund, which funds Minnesota’s public health assistance, and Reinsurance program face funding expirations within the next two years.

2019 Health Care Priorities

  • Modernizing access to patient information.
    • Minnesota is one of only two states where patients need to approve information sharing for each medical provider; other states use HIPAA.
  • Making prescription drugs more affordable.
    • Many Minnesotans are forced to miss doses of their prescriptions because of the rising costs of drugs.
  • The future of Medical Assistance (Medicaid).
    • Medicaid work requirements, rejected in the 2018 legislative sessions, could reappear as an issue for the 2019 state legislature.

Long-Term Priorities

  • Addressing substance abuse and mental health needs.
    • Minnesota, like the rest of the country, is dealing with the growing opioid epidemic. This issue will need to be addressed in the coming years.
  • Accessing care in our rural communities.
    • Rural Minnesotans struggle with transportation, provider gaps, and lower quality of care. Cuts to the state’s safety net programs would disproportionately affect these communities.
  • Addressing the states’ overall health inequities.
    • Dramatic disparities still exist within the state’s health care system, with 80-90% of outcomes directly related to social determinants of health. Mitigating these will need to be a cornerstone of all policy moving forward.

“Health care is a top priority issue for Americans, and we are excited to provide the Health Care Policy Resource Guide as a resource for health care policymakers,” said US of Care’s Executive Director Emily Barson. She added, “we hope the guide can be used to create a health care agenda for Minnesota that gives Minnesotans an affordable, regular source of care and creates policies that are both financially sound and politically viable.”

“States are leading the way in making health care more accessible and affordable, and Minnesota is at the forefront. The lessons learned here and in states around the country will be the building blocks for durable change to our health care system.”