LETTER: Fund health care before its too late

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, which helps them access doctors, medication and care.

More than two decades ago, a bipartisan group of lawmakers came together to establish HCAF, which is partly paid for by a 2% tax on providers. The clock is counting down because that funding source is set to expire in December.

Our family was lucky. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, our medical insurance paid for almost all of his care. We were incredibly grateful, but the realization that other families aren’t so lucky when it comes to access to expedient diagnosis and treatment was profound. This is why it’s important to me that the provider tax remains in place. HCAF provides essential health care services like cancer screenings, which are critical to detecting the disease when it’s easier and less expensive to treat. Now is not the time to take back our investment in the health of Minnesotans.

Thousands of Minnesotans are depending on lawmakers to find a solution. I’m asking my lawmakers, Sen. Matt Klein and Rep. Rick Hansen, to work with their colleagues to continue the provider tax and fund our families’ and neighbors’ health care before time runs out. 

 

Elyse Levine Less

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

West St. Paul

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