State GOP group out to stop health care takeover

The Republican Party of Minnesota has announced the formation of a health care coalition. Heading up the effort are former state Representative Fran Bradley and Dr. Brian Davis, who was the GOP challenger to Congressman Tim Walz last year. A news release issued today says the coalition is out to prevent a government takeover of health care:

Former Representative Fran Bradley and Doctors Brian Davis, Fred Nobrega and Scott Wright today announced the formation of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Health Care Coalition. The goals of the coalition are to help prevent a government takeover of the American health care system and to promote positive alternatives which put doctors and patients in charge.

“People in both parties share common goals: reforming our very good health care system to make it better, more cost effective, providing greater value for all Americans and working to find a way to get every American covered with insurance. We think coverage can be realized through private insurance reform and the use of tax credits to help those without insurance to buy high quality private insurance,” said Dr. Scott Wright.

“We hope that reform makes American health care look more like the Mayo Clinic, instead of the Democratic plans which will harm the Mayo Clinic and create access barriers for Americans to get the care they deserve and desire,” Dr. Wright added.

“Governor Pawlenty and the CEO of Whole Foods John Mackey have it right. We must find ways to improve health care but we must do it in a way that empowers individuals, not big government,” Dr. Brian Davis said.

Former Rep. Fran Bradley proposed several Republican alternatives for real reform. “Republicans have put forward a series of substantive proposals to improve the health care system. Whether you are talking about tort reform or tax incentives for individuals and small businesses, there are a number of proposals that would drive down health care costs,” Bradley said.

“We should focus on payment reform that pays for better services, enhanced efficiency and patient outcomes with lower cost over time,” said Dr. Fred Nobrega.

Members of the Republican Party of Minnesota Health Care Coalition will submit op-eds, letters to the editor and formulate positive Republican alternatives. Members of the coalition will also issue a series of recommendations about the most effective ways to truly reform the health care system.

Republican Party of Minnesota Health Care Coalition members are:

Former Rep. Fran Bradley

Diana Bratlie, RN

Glydewell Burdick Jr., Senior Citizen and Retired Small Business Owner

Dr. Andrew Chiu

Dr. Brian Davis

John Diehl, Attorney

Former Rep. Sondra Erickson

Dr. Robin Fischer

Eric Fredrickson, CPA

Meg Ferber, Senior Citizen

Glenn Gruenhagen, CLU, ChFC

Gretchen Hoffman, RN

Nancy Hoffman, Occupational Therapist

Rebecca Holmstrom, CCRN

Mary Igo, RN

Former Sen. Arlene Lesewski

Mark Meyer, Actuary, Farmer and Small Business Owner

Daniel Nadeau, Health Policy Analyst

Dr. Fred Nobrega, Retired MD

Gregory O’Connor, Small Business Owner

Roger O’Daniel, Small Business Owner and Former US Air Force officer

Kelly Parker, Self Employed Business Owner

Carol Pundt, Health Insurance Agent

Chris Schneeman, CLU, ChFC, RHU

Dr. Scott Wright

Dr. James Young


DFL party officials responded to the GOP announcement, saying “the party of no strikes again.” They released this statement from DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt:

“It looks like we’re in for more of the same obstructionist tactics and partisan misinformation schemes we’ve seen from the ‘Party of No’ over the past few years — this time from a new coalition of Republican foot soldiers trying to kill health-insurance reform. It’s disappointing that rather than coming together with leaders in Minnesota and around the country to work to actually help families struggling with high premiums, inadequate coverage, or no insurance at all in these tough economic times, that the Republican Party of Minnesota instead chose to form a group to block reform and rehash the disastrous Romney-care policies that have hurt so many people in Massachusetts. Sadly, sometimes it’s true — you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

  • Melissa

    This is wonderful news – the Democrat healthcare plan is TERRIBLE! The people don’t like it but they keep trying to jam it down our throats anyways. When is the DFL going to start listening to the American people instead of all their special interest lobbying groups?

  • Colin

    The Republicans take their funding from the same sources as pro-insurance Democrats, so I’m skeptical.

    It would be nice to actually see a bill eliminating pre-existing conditions and cutting the costs of health insurance for all Americans who must pay double what the rest of the world pays per person for worse quality care than all other industrialized nations, according to the World Health Organization. Most of these nations also cover everyone at these costs.

    I met a voter in John Klein’s hometown last year who even went bankrupt as a high-paid lawyer because her child was born with autism, which was considered an expensive pre-existing condition by her insurance company. If Klein had cared, he would listen to these stories and would take action on his own without waiting for the Democrats to take power and hold his hand.

    Indeed, it would be nice to see these kinds of reforms, but it’s pure rhetoric from the Republicans and they won’t do it.

    Their reform ideas like consumer-directed plans seek to mimic states like Texas which pay some of the highest medical costs in the country.

  • Larry

    For all the recurrent fear-mongering about a “government takeover of health care,” I’ve yet to hear a credible explanation of how this could happen. Our government is not a dictatorship and does not have legions of storm troopers or secret police to enforce its will. In the unimaginable event that such a health plan could be passed into law, which by the way none of our legislators are trying to do, any legislator who supported such a plan would be voted out of office at the next opportunity. It would be political suicide. It is simply impossible that such a bill could get anywhere near passage.

    What is truly frightening about this kind of debate is the fact that so much of the American public is so gullible as to be so susceptible to this kind of nonsensical fear-mongering.

  • Jamie

    That is indeed frightening, Larry. They’re the same people who elected GW Bush twice. Republicans are all about marketing and the gullibles swallow it blindly.

    Something that really jumps out at me about this story is Tim Pugmire’s headline. He uses the language of Republicans and Big Money. I shouldn’t be surprised. MPR bends over for Republicans every day. Just look at the last few days of this blog: almost all about Republicans. One sneering critical story about Chris Coleman.

  • What?

    Fran Bradley is leading a group on health care? This is the guy who fought to cut enrollment in and funding for health care programs when he was a legislator. Bradley leading a group on health care reform is like having an arsonist lead a group on fire prevention. If this is the best the Republicans can come up with, it’s no wonder that the public doesn’t trust them on health care.

  • Cranky Engineer

    Instead of continuing the growth of the Marxist Oligarchy, how about taking away government rules, regulations and laws which protect medical malpractice tort lawyers. This is what conservatives want. How about allowing us to have portable health insurance and spending accounts? How about allowing us to create our own unique medical insurance policy instead of having to pick a state government mandated set of coverages? How about allowing individuals to have the same tax treatment for medical spending as for companies?

    If the left wants to DO SOMETHING, how about fixing social security, medicare and medicaid before they screw something else up? And how about them fixing the mess that they made out of housing financing? And get out of all businesses! You had no consitutional right or requirement to do any of the “bailouts”–really national socialist acquisition of industry. I am tired of listening to the left talk so lovingly of America turning into a 3rd world socialist nightmare.