Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Healthcare Conversations

Earlier this year, the Otto Bremer Foundation provided funding for a “21st Century Community Conversation on Healthcare.” The project was coordinated by Minnesota First Nonprofit. For details and the full report, visit www.mnfirst.org

For a snapshot, read here the themes mentioned in the report by people involved in the Conversation from communities around Minnesota. Discussion centered around two questions:

Question One: What concerns, if any, do you have about your healthcare coverage or that of your family?

* Affordability of paying for coverage, paying for co-pays, paying for what is not covered.
* Limits job choices, staying, leaving, retiring, working part time, not working outside of home, being self-employed.
* Affordability of comprehensive coverage that includes preventative care, prescriptions, alternative care and pre-existing conditions.
* Too difficult to understand plans and what is covered-not user friendly.
* Current system of our health care choices driven by those selling services and drugs.
* Shortages such as clinics, pharmacies and ambulances in small communities due to high cost of care.

Question Two: If you were in control of changing one thing about your healthcare coverage to make it better for you, and/or your family, what would that change be?”

* Healthcare is a right—everyone should have it.
* Healthcare coverage should allow for more personal choices, such as providers, types of care, and lifestyle choices.
* Healthcare should support preventive care, health education and wellness coverage.
* Healthcare should be affordable.
* Ease transitions from one coverage plan to another; job-to-job; loss of job, injury, change to and from government insurance.

Lois Schmidt, NRS, Willmar/Redwood Falls/Marshall

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