Thursday, September 23, 2010

John Benson would eliminate thousands of jobs in Minnesota's private health insurance industry

By Brian Grogan

In Minnesota, the DFL party has been committed to establishing a single-payer health care system in Minnesota for nearly forty years. It began during the 1970s when government leaders in Minnesota began regulating health insurance and established the HMO delivery system. We are now in the final stages of the DFL's incremental approach to government control of health care.

My opponent in State House District 43B, John Benson, is co-authoring the Minnesota Health Plan. The bill (HF135) is the DFL's final step in establishing a government controlled health care program in Minnesota. This bill exceeds President Obama’s health care bill in regulation and mandated coverage.

It is frightening to read and will eliminate thousands of Minnesota jobs! Written in 2009, the bill is currently resting in the House Finance committee.

The bill establishes six new Minnesota government agencies. The bill creates the Minnesota Health Board, the Office of Health Quality and Planning, an Ombudsman for Patient Advocacy and an Inspector General. In addition, the bill requires the government to expand mandated coverage.

This should concern every Minnesotan. Today, our state artificially escalates health care costs by requiring all private health insurance plans offered in Minnesota to cover services whether you want it or not. In particular, our state leads the nation in the number of mandated services (sixty-four) that health insurance plans must offer.

The DFL's Minnesota Health Plan bill significantly expands this government-mandated coverage. The plan if enacted would cover all citizens (including illegal immigrants). It includes such services as long term care, home health care and dental care. How does the government plan on paying for this? Don’t ask the DFL party — they will figure that out later!

This bill exceeds Obama Care in that first and foremost the plan will collapses all private insurance plans effective the date the bill is "operational." Once the bill becomes "operational," it will also collapse jobs: 1100 jobs in Minnetonka and Plymouth and thousands of additional jobs across Minnesota!

The job elimination provision is written in the bill in Section 3, Subdivision 3. These lines specifically state that the bill will collapse private health insurance plans in Minnesota.
Subd. 3. Prohibition. On and after the day the Minnesota Health Plan becomes operational, a health plan, as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 62Q.01, subdivision 3, may not be sold in Minnesota for services provided by the Minnesota Health Plan.
This means that Minnetonka-based Medica, employing 1100 employees, ceases to exist. This line means that Blue Cross Blue Shield and a division of United Health Care are out-of-business. Thousands of Minnesota jobs are eliminated by Benson's bill.

My opponent consistently states he is pro-business, stands for Minnesota jobs and is a "moderate" legislator. Is this a pro-business, jobs-oriented, moderate approach to addressing our health care issues?

It is essential that we change control of the Minnesota House. The first step in accomplishing this would be to unseat my opponent, John Benson. This bill proves he is a member of the liberal wing of the Democrat, progressive party. He wants a government-run health care system that takes away our choices and erodes our economic freedoms. He is willing to disrupt lives and eliminate jobs in order to carry out his vision for the world.

Brian Grogan (Twitter: @bwgrogan) is running for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 43B. His web site is

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