Minnesota Senate Republicans Establish “Patients First” Healthcare Reform

Minnesota Senate Republicans have recently created a “Patients First” plan to reduce healthcare costs by offering direct primary care, covering pre-existing conditions, reforming Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) and offering patients the right to shop.

Republican Healthcare Plan

Minnesota Republicans are offering new healthcare reforms as a way of awarding power back to patients, giving them more of a say in their own care. “These are bold, innovative ideas” Senator Scott Jensen, M.D. (R- Chaska) said. He continued by stating these initiatives “dismantle some of the biggest cost drivers” our healthcare system has.

Minnesota’s product of Obamacare, MNSure, has been a disaster since its rollout in 2013. “Here in Minnesota, we know firsthand how disastrous (and expensive), MNSure has been” Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said. “Families across the country have been forced to pay for continuously increasing premiums while having fewer choices and less flexibility” she continued.

This legislative session, Senate Republicans are proposing to solve the crisis by “breaking down the barriers of our convoluted health care system to give consumers the flexibility and choice they deserve” Senator Michelle Benson (R- Ham Lake) stated.

Giving patients the power to shop around for the best healthcare is a key component of this initiative. Senator Rich Draheim (R- Madison Lake) says “imagine how much competition there would be if patients could shop around for health care services.”

Another key provision is the coverage of pre-existing conditions. Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) wants Minnesotans to be “confident their pre-existing conditions are covered.”

More accountability and transparency are also central themes in the initiative, along with the “elimina[tion of]  anything standing between a patient and their trusted family doctor” Senator Mary Kiffenmeyer (R- Big Lake) exclaimed. The initiative allows for flexibility between doctors and patients without putting insurance in the middle.

Republicans will face tough obstacles to get reforms passed since newly elected Democrat Governor Tim Walz has doubled down on existing government healthcare.

Watch the press conference below


Megan Olson

Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.