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.