Good health allows Minnesotans to be active, productive, and engaged in their lives and communities. It also depends on having safe places to work, learn, and play; safe water and healthy food; affordable health coverage; and access to medical services.
There’s a lot to know about the healthcare system. Finding a solution to ensuring that all Minnesotans have access to effective and affordable health care demands a comprehensive approach. Perhaps you have the same questions I do about why we feel like we need to have a PhD to understand our medical bills, why we spend so many healthcare dollars to pay people to help us understand our benefits instead of simplifying the system, and why we still have Minnesotans that get sick and die because they can’t afford the medications they need? I believe there is an achievable balance between making sure that all Minnesotans have access to suitable community-based healthcare, but are also empowered to exercise some choice in what makes sense for themselves and their families.
Did you know that 1 in 5 Minnesotans suffer with mental health issues every year? Mental health disorders cause significant functional impairments at home, in the workplace, at school, and in our community. Early diagnosis and appropriate services can make a difference. Access to providers who can offer services, including screening, referrals, and treatment, is critical no matter where you live. Our state infrastructure already includes programs like grant supported school-linked mental health services, mobile crisis intervention, and some county and community level services. But it’s not enough. We have to prioritize mental health and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to get effective, professional help.