Throughout the summer and fall, TakeAction health care team members pounded the pavement and called thousands of voters, asking them to vote no on November 6th. Last week, we saw the result of all that work as two hateful amendments were defeated in our state. Saying no to those amendments felt great. And seeing them both defeated felt even better.
But now, a week later, we’re ready to say goodbye to no and move on to yes. And as we look to the health care work TakeAction Minnesota will be doing this legislative session, we feel a sense of that “yes” most clearly in the opportunity we have to improve and expand our MinnesotaCare program.
This session, our newly elected legislature will have the chance to make major and long lasting changes to our state’s health care system through the creation of what’s called a Basic Health Plan. A key part of the Affordable Care Act, the Basic Health Plan would mean maintaining, improving and expanding the current MinnesotaCare program in our state.
It would mean saying yes to a healthier Minnesota – the Basic Health Plan will provide affordable, high-quality health care to 120,000 people in our state, some of whom are currently on MinnesotaCare and some of whom would be newly covered.
It would mean saying yes to a more stable state budget – the Basic Health Plan draws down more federal dollars than we’ve had access to before, making it a good deal for our state budget.
It means saying yes to a stronger public health care system in our state in both the near term and the longer term – the Basic Health Plan allows us to build new and improved health care infrastructure, the kind of infrastructure we need as we envision a state where EVERYONE has access to affordable coverage.
This session, TakeAction Minnesota, along with allies from around the state, will be asking our newly elected representatives to vote yes to create a Basic Health Plan in our state. And as happy as we were to be part of the vote no movement during this past election cycle, we’re even more excited about moving forward and saying “yes” to the health of our state.
Elizabeth is TakeAction Minnesota’s Deputy Training & Organizing Director. She is leading our work to protect and expand MinnesotaCare in 2013.