Last week, several bills advancing Democrats’ extreme agenda to transform Minnesota’s healthcare system were quietly advancing through the legislative process. However, the Mayo Clinic recently sent an email to DFL leaders and Governor Tim Walz, warning that it will redirect billions in investments to other states if two policies become law. The healthcare provider’s ultimatum reflects the broader reality of what will happen to Minnesota’s healthcare system if the full package of far-left policies becomes law.
Together, these policies collect the worst of top-down, government-knows-best regulations, which will cement Minnesota’s position as the most tightly regulated healthcare state. This will undermine future investments and innovation to deliver better patient care. Unfortunately, patients have no idea what is coming because every major player in the health sector has focused on protecting its own turf and has otherwise remained quiet.
Worse still, they’ve turned on each other in a blame game, trying to deflect the damage from DFL policies onto other players. The Association for Accessible Medicines, which represents generic drug manufacturers, urged legislators to remove price controls on generics from a bill and, instead, focus on high-cost brand-name drugs.
In response, PhRMA, the lobbying arm for branded drug manufacturers, highlighted how insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) contribute to higher drug costs to defend branded drug manufacturers against price caps in the same bill. PhRMA even itemized several top-down government regulations legislators should impose on these players.
The Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the PBM’s cobelligerent against PhRMA, eventually weighed in against the drug manufacturers with unequivocal support for drug price controls. Meanwhile, doctors represented by the Minnesota Medical Association expressed qualified support for a public-option health plan to compete against private health plans.
The Minnesota Hospital Association largely stayed out of the related discussions and merely opposed policies that directly affect their members’ operations. This included the two troublesome policies Mayo identified, one of which was a requirement on hospitals to establish nurse staffing and workload committees.
Lastly, the establishment of a Health Care Affordability Board empowered to set and enforce limits on the cost of care. The hospital’s quiet voice kept Minnesotans in the dark about the serious risks that DFL policies pose to patients.
While hospitals didn’t participate in the circular firing squad, their quiet voice kept Minnesotans in the dark about the serious risks these DFL policies pose to patients. Even so, a leaked email from Mayo sounded the alarm, and most recently, 68 leaders from Minnesota nonprofit hospitals issued a statement on how DFL regulations “would negatively impact hospital care.” In conclusion, hospitals, doctors, drug manufacturers, PBMs, and health plans should all share the same concerns over what’s happening at the Legislature.