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Jason Ludwigson: Dan Feehan will fight for health care transparency

October 11, 2018

Dan Feehan, who is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, would be a staunch advocate for health care price transparency. Health care is different than many other consumer products. When you need health care it must be affordable and available. At times it is a life and death situation. One of the most frustrating parts of health care is determining the cost of care in advance or even in the doctor’s office. I know because of the many times I’ve tried.

I once needed an MRI and I wanted to know how much it would cost, to be a wise consumer of my health care dollars. After numerous calls and time on the phone I was able to get an estimated price. Not the actual price, but an estimated price. That’s too high a bar to find out what is known by the provider and insurance company well in advance.

The lack of health care price transparency aligns with a finding in the 2017 Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans that only 30 percent of all consumer healthcare products and services in the United States are “shoppable.” In other words, for all of the good intentions of creating better consumers, we can only even attempt consumerism with 30 percent of what we may need for healthcare.

How can we fix this? First by electing representatives, like Dan Feehan, who will prioritize working on solutions rather than talking past each other. Dan will work with all elected officials to push forward policies like health care price transparency. We should no longer accept provider and payer assertions that revealing costs would leave them at a competitive disadvantage. There is growing bipartisan support for transparency, as with the issue of pre-existing conditions, where support has crossed party lines because their detrimental effects don’t recognize political parties.

We should no longer accept representatives who will not stand up for independence and work together for the common good. The candidate running for Congress in CD1 willing to work on these tough, but crucial issues is Dan Feehan. Dan is worthy of your vote on Nov. 6.

Jason Ludwigson, La Crescent

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