LETTER: Preserve the health care provider tax

April 23, 2019

To the Editor:

Minnesota’s Health Care Access Fund (HCAF) is in jeopardy and the consequences are very real for our friends and neighbors. One in five Minnesotans relies on public health care programs that are funded by HCAF. Programs such as Medical Assistance are important in making sure Minnesotans have access to the doctors, medications and care they need.

More than 30,000 Minnesotans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and many will receive their care through MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance. Cancer patients who are uninsured when diagnosed are 60% more likely to die than patients with health insurance coverage. The HCAF is a critical safety-net in the fight against cancer.

Failing to preserve the health care provider tax this year would mean putting at risk the health and well-being of people and communities across Minnesota. It also would mean putting a $700 million hole in our state’s general fund budget, threatening other important public services we value, like higher education and public safety.

Thousands of Minnesotans are depending on lawmakers to find a solution. As a Plymouth resident, I’m asking my lawmakers, Sen. Paul Anderson and Rep. Ginny Klevorn, to please work with their colleagues to continue the provider tax, and fund our families’ and neighbors’ health care before time runs out.

Pamela Mason

Letter to the Editor, Sun Sailor