SEIU Statement on Recommendations from Health Care Financing Task Force

Healthcare workers and leaders praise final recommendations as important framework towards a more healthy state

St. Paul, Minn — With the announcement today of final recommendations from the Health Care Financing Task Force passing with 80% support, SEIU leaders praised the framework and released the following statements:

Phillip Cryan, Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and a member of the Task Force, praised the recommendations as charting a course towards a more healthy state.  “These recommendations offer a powerful vision for a better Minnesota. If enacted by the legislature, these policies will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of families all across our state. Expanding our high-quality, affordable MinnesotaCare program to cover more working families who are now struggling to pay high deductibles and premiums for commercial insurance, ensuring health care coverage for the undocumented, and repealing the sunset on the provider tax that funds MinnesotaCare would all help make our state a more just and healthy place to live,” said Cryan. “I am proud of the role SEIU played, working together with health care providers, patient advocates, other unions, doctors, academics, legislators and state officials to shape these recommendations to improve health care for all Minnesotans.”

Health Care Stethoscope_rsRita Matthews, a Phlebotomy Assistant at Allina’s Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota’s Executive Board, spoke about what these changes would mean for the people she cares for every day, working on the front lines of the healthcare field. “Too often, we see people put off healthcare, either because they lack health insurance or because the costs of their deductibles and copays are so high they can’t afford to go the doctor. This causes unnecessary harm and pain to them and their families. Every Minnesotan should have access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage, and these recommendations from the Health Care Financing Task Force would, if adopted by the legislature, make that closer to a reality for all Minnesotans,” said Matthews. “I hope our elected officials take these recommendations seriously and work to make our state a more healthy and safe place for every patient – which, at some point in our lives, means every one of us – in Minnesota.”

Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26, highlighted the recommendation that called for extending healthcare coverage to undocumented families in Minnesota. “With national elected officials continuing to put political posturing over fixing our broken immigration system with a real path to citizenship, it is exciting to see Minnesota putting families first by recommending that undocumented residents receive health insurance. The recommendations from the Task Force, if implemented, would make our state more healthy, safe and inclusive,” said Morillo. “We all gain by raising public health standards when all families have health insurance that allows them to receive the care they need. This would be a huge step forward for our state.”

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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 35,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota. 

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