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Letter: Healthcare one of Minnesota's important issues

My name is Forrester Pack and I'm a resident of the Twin Cities. As a University of Minnesota journalism undergraduate and follower of state politics, I'm interested in learning more about our state.

One of the important issues I feel is healthcare.

Over the last year, our state has spent upwards of $300 million "supplementing" health insurance companies so they could cover people on the individual market. I find it unsustainable for a health system that's largely run by private insurance companies to continue on public dollars. Public dollars that Minnesota could return to taxpayers or invest in other programs like education or the environment.

Also, federal policies has put funding in jeopardy for state healthcare programs like Minnesota Care and Medical Assistance (administered via Medicaid). Is it moral or efficient Minnesotans are left to swing in the winds of uncertainty regarding the most vital aspect of humanity, our health?

I think residents of Wadena, among all other Minnesotans, should consider a proposal at least one state legislator has introduced: Senator John Marty's Minnesota Health Care Bill.

I believe it's an economic and logical solution to our current, complicated healthcare system. It is more efficient, accessible, and would actually save millions of public dollars that right now just get shoveled to private insurance firms, firms that often don't have patients' best interests on the operating table.

I'm told by lawmakers and media that important issues can't be bridged in Minnesota because of divides between "urban" Minnesotans and "greater" or "out state" Minnesotans. Yet, most developed nations already have some form of single-payer healthcare, with much better results for citizens than the US.

We all need adequate healthcare. And we all should have a discussion about Health Care for All Minnesotans.

Forrester Pack,