Gubernatorial Candidate Calls for Single Payer Health Care

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gubernatorial candidate and State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) penned an editorial for the Pioneer Press recently calling for single-payer health care.

Murphy is applauding the failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the efforts of some Americans to tell their representatives to fight against repeal.

“Americans across the country, in a beautiful turn of democracy, are fighting to keep access to care, for themselves and their families, but also for people they don’t even know,” Murphy wrote. “The voices of those millions of Americans sunk several attempts at a U.S. Senate plan to replace the ACA with a tax cut for the rich.”

Murphy criticizes capitalist models of health care, saying that a for-profit model of any part of the health care system is bad for Americans. She tells a story of her dying mother’s struggle to get her insurance company to cover the care she needed for cancer treatments near the end of her life.

“We must guarantee health care for people who are sick, focus on the health of Minnesotans, and control health care costs,” Murphy wrote. “We must make strategic and difficult choices with valuable resources, putting the health of Minnesotans ahead of health insurance profit making.”

Murphy’s editorial includes a very limited explanation how she plans to control costs, and does not address the increases that would result from the increased demand on health care providers that would result from every Minnesotan having state-funded access to doctors for every ailment. She only writes, ambiguously, that Minnesota should, “contract directly with health care providers and provider groups, eliminating the costly health insurers from Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.”

She also does not lay out how Minnesota would raise the money necessary to fund her proposal of MinnesotaCare for everyone.

Murphy also supports Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) plan for Medicare for all across the United States.

“Let’s start by making MinnesotaCare an option available to everyone,” Murphy wrote. “Like Medicare, it’s tested, trusted, and affordable coverage, available everywhere in Minnesota.”

NPR reported in May 2016 that expanding Medicare coverage to cover everyone in the United States would add $18 trillion to the national debt in just the next ten years. The current national debt is just under $20 trillion.

Anders Koskinen