West Central Blogger

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sen. Coleman takes the pulse of region on health care issues

Senator Norm Coleman recently held three town hall forums in west central Minnesota. The conference room at Lake Region Healthcare was full Monday morning as Sen. Coleman presented an overview of his vision for expanding health insurance coverage and lowering health care costs, and then listened to constituent concerns. These concerns ranged from a family practitioner's hope for better Medicare reimbursements to a senior's personal frustration with understanding the Medicare system.

Sen. Coleman is currently shepherding seven bills related to rural healthcare through the Senate. "Quality of healthcare shouldn't depend on your zipcode," he told the audience.

His issues:
  • Every person should have health care. The senator believes it begins with tax reform and refundable tax credits.

  • People shouldn't worry about losing their insurance if they get sick. Insurance needs to be portable. Leaving an employer, starting a new businesses, changing jobs or spending more time at home with family shouldn't risk one's health care coverage.

  • There needs to be a change of attitude. "There is a need to focus on wellness and prevention. Obesity is a big problem," he said. "I'm also a big believer in individual responsibility. We need to educate consumers so they can make better choices."

  • Health care decisions should not be made by Washington bureaucrats. While government can help, the decisions should be in the hands of citizens and their doctors. Health care reform shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all approach. There should be a variety of options.

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