It’s not just one of the big issues in the upcoming election, it might be the biggest.
It certainly seems that way for one campaign.
Minnesota Republican for governor, Jeff Johnson, says there’s a reason he’s put so much work into a plan to release his state from the clutches of the federal Affordable Care Act.
“People are scared to death about it,” Johnson said Tuesday afternoon on WIZM (listen here). “That is the reason people are — we’ve seen people in the individual markets who have been practically bankrupted by what’s happened the last few years.”
Johnson has called for increased competition in the insurance market, tax exemptions for health care benefit plans — things only achievable through waivers from the federal government — and enticing more companies to offer insurance in the state, as some of the solutions for fixing what he calls the state’s health care “disaster.”
“We’re seeing a lot of middle-class and lower-middle-class people who aren’t eligible for state programs or, at least, not eligible for much of a state program, who are just really concerned,” Johnson said. “They’re seeing their premiums increase double digits some years, they’ve seen their deductibles go through the roof.”
Another solution, from Johnson’s “action plan” online, is to cut insurance mandates.
“I will work to allow Minnesotans to purchase limited coverage policies that are affordable for every Minnesotan and cover both basic preventative care and potential catastrophic events,”Johnson’s plan states. “And I will propose to roll back some of the coverage mandates that have accumulated over the past decades.”
Johnson is pushing hard to minimize impact from the ACA on Minnesota, especially those who have limited insurance choices on the state’s exchange, MNSure. Ballooning premiums, super high deductibles and ew choices. None of it good, says Johnson.
“It’s very personal for people and it’s very scary,” he said. “I believe we’re headed in exactly the wrong direction.”
Another part of Johnson’s online plan calls to allow people to form associations to purchase group benefits.
“I will propose allowing Minnesotans to form associations, maybe by a group of businesses in a small community or as a group of churches or other organizations to have the same buying power and risk distribution that large corporations enjoy,” Johnson’s plan says. “The legislature explored something similar this session by allowing farmers to create a cooperative.”