Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sitting in on the Minnesota Farmers Union agriculture discussion at Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood

Minnesota Farmers Union president Doug Peterson and some of his staff are on hand now at Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood.

Tom Meium of Congressman Collin Peterson's office said the following:

Collin favors these parts of the health care reform bill: ends the pre-existing condition exclusion - children covered up to 26 - health insurance companies can no longer drop you if you get a serious illness

Collin heard mostly from farmers, independent business owners who pay for their own insurance - they expressed grave concerns about rates going up. It was not addressed in the bill, even supporters of the bill acknowledge that insurance rates will go up.

Inflation rates and uncontrolled expenses that have been going up for quite some time have not been addressed.

Eleven percent of the CD7 do not have health insurance. About 1/3 of those will be covered. That's disappointing to Collin. He was hoping more of the uninsured would be covered.

That plus the expenses out of consumers pockets not being addressed led Collin to vote No on the bill.

If you compare legislation to a football game, we're probably at about halftime.
The first half was developing a bill. The second half will be implementation of the bill.

Health and Human Services will bring this to reality over the next 4 to 5 years. "Rubber hits the road" - the legislative intent will be put into action.

Collin pledges his support to the work of the second half. He won't be a part of the political games and rhetoric about repealing the bill.

He supports several parts of the bill. He will work with his colleagues of both parties to address the cost issue and make it a workable program.

  • Other issues were discussed throughout the forum, with a heavy emphasis on health care reform and agriculture concentration.

More will be posted on this meeting on Wednesday.

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