MN state legislators listen to healthcare issues from community members

Demanding Change in Minnesota Healthcare

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(ABC 6 News) – Members of the Minnesota state legislature listened to people in Rochester Thursday night on the fourth stop of their MinnesotaCare Public Option tour.

A handful of the dozens of people attending the listening session stepped up to share their own stories of frustration and disappointment with our current healthcare system.

“My socioeconomic status should not determine whether I get quality healthcare,” said speaker Tiffany Charles.

The MinnesotaCare Public Option hopes to make access to healthcare easier for those who don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance.

“Quality, accessible, affordable care, and that is not the case for many, many folks right now,” said Senator Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester).

Farmers, independent contractors and small business owners like Stephanie Whitehorn, are among those legislators hope will benefit from the new public option.

“It can either be a profit-based system, or it can be a people-based system, but if it is a people-based system, then it will be designed to empower people,” said Whitehorn.

Listening sessions like these will help the MN Department of Commerce devise a plan on how to implement the new public option.

“It’s important that we hear what people are experiencing first of all. It’s hard to craft solutions when we don’t know what’s going on,” said Representative Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester).

The MN Department of Commerce is expected to release a report on their findings from the tour Feb 1.

Until then, people are encouraged to file a complaint on the the Department of Commerce’s website if you’re experiencing an issue with your health insurance.