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As a Minnesota legislator, how do you make statement in regards to attempts reduce access to quality health care for the poor—or attacks on the MinnesotaCare state health program?  How do you make a statement that truly shows how bad state voucher programs are compared to existing state health assistance offerings?

If you are Minnesota State Senator Barb Goodwin, DFL – Columbia Hieghts, you issue an amendment to the proposed voucher legislation requiring state legislators pilot the voucher program for two years before setting live on the public.  How do you assume that went over?

In response to Sen. David Hann’s, R – Eden Prairie, proposal to cut state costs from the public health assistance program, Goodwin attempted to add the amendment above.  According to MinnPost, the reaction to this amendment during the debate was meet with stunned silence.

Goodwin’s amendment was obviously voted down, with members from both parties finding fault with the proposal.

Most DFLers weren't even amused by Goodwin's simple what's-good-for-the-goose idea.
(Senator Linda) Berglin (DFL – Minneapolis), who fights so hard for the poor, said the Goodwin amendment was as unacceptable as the GOP voucher plan in general.

What strikes me as strange is that no one in the legislature sees Goodwin’s proposed
amendment for what it is.  My guess is Goodwin never expected it pass, but rather wanted it on record that no one (at least no one in the MN legislature) would accept the voucher program for themselves.

So, if the voucher program is such a great idea, then why not try it?  No, it’s not a program that would work for you?  Then how would it work anyone else?

Health isn’t about how much money you make, and limiting or restricting peoples’ access to affordable and quality health care shouldn’t be part of any budget debate.

Consider this, the poor who would have even more limited health care options under the voucher program would be more likely to suffer from illness or health issues.  As a result, they will miss more days of work, or not work at all, which in turn results less tax revenue and further reliance of state aid programs.

A sick population is an expensive population—a healthy population is a productive and  profitable population.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity. -- WB Yeats greatlakesprogressive.com

    by Chris Chasteen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:14:46 PM PDT

    •  Could you imagine what the world would like if... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jedennis, Naniboujou, WobegonGal

      our legislators had to pilot all programs themselves including their families?

      The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity. -- WB Yeats greatlakesprogressive.com

      by Chris Chasteen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:08:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for your post... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry, too, that your diary didn't get the attention it deserved. However, I found it listed on the Minnesota BlogWire feed on our county DFL website, so you might bring in some guest eyeballs (who, unfortunately, won't comment or rec).

      I agree with the other comments here.

      If those who supposedly represent us were to serve as guinea pigs for their own reprehensible programs (each personally, in addition to their staff, their family, and extended family), then perhaps it would slow down the crazy.

      Put them on a voucher health program. Cut their pension and put them in a 401K.

      I've always found it insulting how they use the word 'entitlements' (referring to Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment) as if it's a dirty word, just a giveaway to the lazy and undeserving. Those of us who have worked for a wage have paid into those plans for YEARS! Those of us who have been unemployed (as I have been) depend on that small margin of safety net to get by.

      The GOP think that anyone without money and/or power are leeches on the bottom line. They have demonstrated time and again that they lack a basic compassion for those less fortunate (or connected) as themselves. Shame on them.

      I live in a community, and if the community isn't in good shape, neither am I. (Studs Terkel)

      by WobegonGal on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:44:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry to see this didn't get more eyeballs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan, WobegonGal

    I think what Barb Goodwin did was commendable.  I hope that there were at least a few legislators that went home feeling at least a little guilty for his/her vote.

    Peace will come when the Republicans will love America's children more than they love their money.

    by Naniboujou on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:38:41 PM PDT

  •  It always amazes me that people who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WobegonGal

    scream and yell about the government being responsible with its money seem to love voucher programs so much - where money is essentially passed out in a far less controlled and transparent fashion, and is dramatically more easily misused.

    similar to charter schools, which are just public schools with drastically less accountability, there seem numerous movements afoot that are designed to foster an environment for abuse and corruption.

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