Press Release: Erin Murphy Unveils Pathway to Single-Payer to Make Sure Every Minnesotan Gets Health Care They Need

SAINT PAUL, MN – Every Minnesotan deserves health care they can count on and the freedom that comes from knowing you always have access to the health care you need. Erin Murphy, the DFL-Endorsed candidate for Governor, declared this today at a press conference in St. Paul where she laid out her “Pathway to Single-Payer” plan, a roadmap setting Minnesota up to lead the nation by becoming the first state to provide guaranteed, affordable health care to everyone. 

Murphy, a registered nurse and health care leader at the State Capitol, will build on her decades of work to provide affordable, comprehensive coverage to Minnesotans that prioritizes the needs of Minnesotans over the greed of corporations. As Governor, Murphy will fight for a pathway to single-payer that establishes MinnesotaCare for all, putting health care decisions back in the hands of patients and medical professionals by cutting out the corporate middleman, and taking action to ensure that Minnesotans are able to afford needed medications.

“I know health care from every angle, as a nurse supporting patients and families, a state legislator fighting for better health for Minnesotans, and as a daughter who navigated my mom’s battle with cancer,” said Murphy. “I am bringing a bold vision for action that reflects the urgency that Minnesota families face every day. As Governor, I will fight for a future where every Minnesotan is able to get the care they need, when they need it.”

Even with the progress of the Affordable Care Act, nearly 349,000 Minnesotans remain uninsured, in large part due to high premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and other gimmicks that make health care coverage unnecessarily complex to navigate and too expensive. Families, seniors, and small businesses must navigate endless paperwork, confusion around what and how much is covered, and the seemingly endless parade of profit-seeking middlemen getting in between the patient and their doctor or nurse. All the while, big pharmaceutical companies are raking in obscene profits and insurance companies continue making millions of dollars while more Minnesotans go without care or are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their head and their medications.

“Families, seniors, farmers, small business owners and just about anyone who has experienced our frustrating health care system can relate to the sense that there must be a better way. Minnesotans are right,” said Murphy. “When Minnesotans have the flu, need cancer treatment, are treating diabetes, or have an accident they need to know they can get and afford the care they need. Right now, far too many Minnesotans aren’t able to access or afford that care. That changes when I become Governor.”

Murphy’s “Pathway to Single-Payer” recognizes that health care is the foundation for the overall well-being and financial security for Minnesotans across the state. Her plan focuses on improving the health of Minnesotans while getting private health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and other special interests out of the way of the decisions between Minnesotans and their medical providers.

Erin Murphy’s Pathway to Single-Payer:

MinnesotaCare for All: Murphy will expand affordable, comprehensive coverage through MinnesotaCare by allowing Minnesotans and small businesses to access the program as it is currently structured. This will help create stability for Minnesotans and small businesses, ensuring people can afford medications, and knowing that the premium stays the same regardless of where someone lives. Murphy will include a MinnesotaCare Buy-In for all Minnesotans option in her 2019 budget proposal.

Buying Health Care Directly from Providers: Murphy will direct the Department of Human Services to expand direct contracting with health care providers to take health plan profits and reinvest them into the health and patient care of Minnesotans. In doing so, Minnesota will be putting people back in the driver seat of their care by cutting out the profit-driven insurance providers that act as a middle-man between patients and their health care provider. Minnesota is already a leader in this work thanks to legislation championed by Murphy that has already generated more than $213 million in savings to the state.

Making needed medications affordable to all Minnesotans: Murphy will fight back against the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs by leveraging the purchasing power of the state to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers. In addition, Murphy will fight for innovative reforms, like importing cheaper drugs from Canada, modeled after legislation that was recently passed in Vermont to combat the high cost of prescription drugs.

Single-Payer Health Care: MinnesotaCare for All and buying health care directly from providers are vital reforms that lay the foundation for single-payer health care for all Minnesotans. Taking the profit-driven middleman out of the decisions between Minnesotans and their medical providers will create a far more efficient, cost-effective, and simpler health care system where every Minnesotan is guaranteed access to affordable, comprehensive care.

“Now is not a time for a tippy-toe kind of politics, we need bold reforms that center on the health of Minnesotans over the profits of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries,” said Murphy. “We can and must invest in the greatest resource this state has to offer – our people.”

Murphy will travel the state over the next two days, talking with voters about her vision for a state where every Minnesotan gets and can afford the care they need.

Fact Sheet:  Erin Murphy Healthcare Record