Access to healthcare should be a human right. The COVID-19 pandemic puts this into sharp focus. No person in Minnesota deserves to lose their home or go bankrupt due to medical conditions. Guaranteeing health care also helps small business and improves public health. This boosts the economy. When people are well fed, healthy, and cared for they are best equipped to achieve great things.
Skyrocketing healthcare costs often force Minnesotans to choose between care and groceries, pharmaceuticals and rent, and these costs are increasing at double the rate of inflation. In a 2011 report published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the US spent $8,508 per capita on healthcare costs, a rate more than double of the other 33 member countries, whose rate was $3,339. This demonstrates that in the United States several people, organizations, and companies are making large profits. It also reveals how much money already exists in the healthcare system. Shifting to Medicare for All would not place any more pressure on the American tax-payer. It is in fact more likely that Medicare for All would reduce annual health care costs by $5000 per person.
This change also has no negative impacts on care received. Countries that put in place some version of Medicare for All experience lower infant death rates, higher rates of physicians per capita, and a longer life expectancy, as reported by OECD. The US healthcare system ranks 37th out of 191 countries, according to the World Health Organization. It is time we allowed ourselves to be better, at a lower cost, with positive health impacts.
When the Federal government begins to push forward with Medicare for All, I will ensure that Minnesota takes advantage of programs that will benefit the citizens. Until then, I would support research on how states can install and control Medicare for All. When it happens it will be a big job. We need to be prepared to put it in place and be a model for the country.
Locally, we’re fighting rising drug prices on medicines many Minnesotans need. According to Politico, the average price of 104 drug prices rose 13.1 percent from 2018 to 2019. But that’s the average. Some rose by as much as 43%. I support legislation that combats drug makers and their fight with Minnesotans. Huge differences in prices should not be found across a national border for the same drug. Minnesotans should not be punished for being born with a disease or becoming ill.