Al believes that every Minnesota family should be able to get the care they need, from a doctor they trust, at a price they can afford. Health reform was an important first step—but there’s still more work to do to bring Minnesota’s tradition of quality, affordable care to the rest of the country.
As he traveled the state during the health care debate, Al heard countless stories about how our nation’s system was failing Minnesotans—stories about people going bankrupt because they got sick, or being unable to start a small business because a pre-existing condition would make it impossible for them to find insurance coverage.
That’s why Al supported health reform. Minnesotans are just beginning to receive its benefits—from guarantees that insurance companies won’t be able to take away coverage when you get sick or deny it to kids with pre-existing conditions, to benefits for seniors (who are receiving payments to bring down the cost of prescriptions) and small businesses (who are receiving tax credits to help them cover employee health insurance).
Al is particularly proud of several provisions he authored that were included in the final law. Medical loss ratio—a requirement that insurance companies spend at least 80 to 85 cents out of every premium dollar on health care (instead of marketing or profit)—is already saving consumers billions of dollars across the country. And Al’s diabetes prevention program—based on a program that has worked in St. Paul—will identify potential diabetes sufferers and help them avoid developing the disease, saving money in the long run.
Health reform also includes a Value Index, which reimburses providers based on the quality and value of the care they provide—not the quantity and volume. Minnesota’s top-notch providers deliver better care at less cost than almost any other state—and Al believes that incentivizing this kind of care with higher payments will encourage other states to follow suit, bringing down costs and improving outcomes nationwide.
Meanwhile, Al continues to fight in support of Minnesota’s medical device industry, which has contributed so much to our state’s economy by delivering innovative and life-saving devices to patients who desperately need them. Al knows that we must streamline bureaucratic processes to make sure these devices get to market safely and quickly.