Healthcare is a human right. I support a universal single payer health care system in the state that will cover all residents regardless of income. As a public health professional and clinical social worker I have seen where our services our working, and where they need improvement. Firstly, we need to stop giving tax breaks to corporations when people suffer. All people deserve access to healthcare no matter their income bracket.
People experiencing mental health crises sometimes wait 4-5 days to be paired with a bed for treatment. This is not acceptable, and we need to better fund and educate around mental and chemical health. I will be a be a strong voice and advocate for funding and education around mental and chemical health, advocating for patient specific care plans and services that that work to holistically address issues through preventative methods. This is not only better for health outcomes overall, but it is better on our pocketbooks, as well.
We need to address price swings between health care providers for similar procedures. Providing people with the most transparent health care services we can offer in Minnesota is what we need in order to deliver access, cost savings and effective patient specific care.
Greater focus on harm reduction methods to save lives and to help people struggling with addiction is something that we need to be integrated into community health and first response measures. Removing stigma around the use of NARCAN, or Naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdose, is greatly needed. Addressing mental and chemical health will help to reduce stigma and will make our communities safer. This is going to be central to any continuing debate on the opioid epidemic in the State and the Country, and I will be a strong advocate for this as well.
Some statistics and challenges that we need to address:
- 250,000 people without healthcare coverage in the state of Minnesota
- 1 in 3 say they have difficulty in paying their medical bills at a given time (PEW Study)
- Medical costs are one of the main contributors to debt and bankruptcy, something that keeps Minnesotans from being able to make large life decisions (e.g. having children, buying a house, car, etc.)
- As many as 30 million Americans get their care through community health centers
- People sometimes wait 4-5 days to find a bed for mental health treatment in the state of Minnesota