“Obviously I’m pleased that the HMO’s have come forward with a plan that in many ways reflects a lot of the work that went into the Health Care Access and Cost Containment bill that Arne Carlson vetoed,” Rep. Paul Anders Ogren said.
Ogren, who has spearheaded health care access efforts in Minnesota, said that many of the reforms central to making health care affordable for everyone are in the HMO proposal. “There are areas where I would go further, such as community rating which is so key to those with chronic health care needs. But in the main I think their proposal is genuine”
“What’s more important,” Ogren added, “is that many of those who were working against us just five months ago are now on our side of the table on some key elements of health care access and reform.”
Ogren said he does have some problems with the HMO funding source, the benefit package and the mandate on employers rather than a direct link with individuals.
“I’m certainly willing to talk with the HMO’s or the administration, for that matter, if there’s a genuine effort on their part to actually get affordable health care to the people of Minnesota,” he said.
“Any resolution must address those of us who have persistent or disabling health care needs,” Ogren added.
“At this point, however, the most viable plan with broad based support is the bill Arne Carlson vetoed. Come January we just may pull together the last few votes needed to override that veto,” Ogren said.