Citizens League previews health care reform workshop, taking it on the road


The new health care reform law has many of us asking questions about what the 2010 Affordable Care Act means for our health, what will be required of employers, and when or how we will be forced to buy health insurance. This spring and fall, a workshop on health care reform will be taken across Minnesota. The workshop got a test run on March 14 at the Wilder Center in St. Paul.

About fifty health and social service providers, government officials, and ordinary citizens gathered to participate and provide feedback on the workshop.

Participants were asked to answer a series of questions regarding healthy behaviors, affordability/waste in health care, and solutions to various health care related problems. Answers were recorded electronically and participants were asked to discuss their answers with others at their table. Opinions differed as to what the ideal solutions are in addressing our nations’ health care crisis.

The Citizens League is partnering with the Bush Foundation to create educational and engaging opportunities to make residents’ voices heard. The league will take its findings to the Minnesota Health Care Reform Task force in early fall.

The Citizens League was very clear that their efforts are bipartisan and future events planned for this spring and summer will not be an open forum to bash any particular political party or establishment. Instead the hope is that residents from all walks of life can contribute solutions based ideas that will help form policy in Minnesota. The workshops will also provide basic education to participants about how much the United States really spends on healthcare, what contributes to these costs, chronic health issues, and health disparities.

The Minnesota Health Care Reform Task force was formed in 2011 as a way of addressing the unique health needs of Minnesotans in conjunction with the new requirements of federal health reform. For example, part of the federal law focuses on increasing health prevention efforts. Through various federally funded grants and allocations, states can create programs that will be most effective in promoting health in their state. The YMCA diabetes prevention program and the Young Student Parent initiative are examples of programs being created and funded through health reform’s focus on prevention.

To find out more about how you can attend upcoming workshops and make your voice heard, click here.

To find out more about the MN Health Reform Task force, click here .