State GOP group out to stop health care takeover

The Republican Party of Minnesota has announced the formation of a health care coalition. Heading up the effort are former state Representative Fran Bradley and Dr. Brian Davis, who was the GOP challenger to Congressman Tim Walz last year. A news release issued today says the coalition is out to prevent a government takeover of health care:

Former Representative Fran Bradley and Doctors Brian Davis, Fred Nobrega and Scott Wright today announced the formation of the Republican Party of Minnesota's Health Care Coalition. The goals of the coalition are to help prevent a government takeover of the American health care system and to promote positive alternatives which put doctors and patients in charge.

"People in both parties share common goals: reforming our very good health care system to make it better, more cost effective, providing greater value for all Americans and working to find a way to get every American covered with insurance. We think coverage can be realized through private insurance reform and the use of tax credits to help those without insurance to buy high quality private insurance," said Dr. Scott Wright.

"We hope that reform makes American health care look more like the Mayo Clinic, instead of the Democratic plans which will harm the Mayo Clinic and create access barriers for Americans to get the care they deserve and desire," Dr. Wright added.

"Governor Pawlenty and the CEO of Whole Foods John Mackey have it right. We must find ways to improve health care but we must do it in a way that empowers individuals, not big government," Dr. Brian Davis said.

Former Rep. Fran Bradley proposed several Republican alternatives for real reform. "Republicans have put forward a series of substantive proposals to improve the health care system. Whether you are talking about tort reform or tax incentives for individuals and small businesses, there are a number of proposals that would drive down health care costs," Bradley said.

"We should focus on payment reform that pays for better services, enhanced efficiency and patient outcomes with lower cost over time," said Dr. Fred Nobrega.

Members of the Republican Party of Minnesota Health Care Coalition will submit op-eds, letters to the editor and formulate positive Republican alternatives. Members of the coalition will also issue a series of recommendations about the most effective ways to truly reform the health care system.

Republican Party of Minnesota Health Care Coalition members are:

Former Rep. Fran Bradley

Diana Bratlie, RN

Glydewell Burdick Jr., Senior Citizen and Retired Small Business Owner

Dr. Andrew Chiu

Dr. Brian Davis

John Diehl, Attorney

Former Rep. Sondra Erickson

Dr. Robin Fischer

Eric Fredrickson, CPA

Meg Ferber, Senior Citizen

Glenn Gruenhagen, CLU, ChFC

Gretchen Hoffman, RN

Nancy Hoffman, Occupational Therapist

Rebecca Holmstrom, CCRN

Mary Igo, RN

Former Sen. Arlene Lesewski

Mark Meyer, Actuary, Farmer and Small Business Owner

Daniel Nadeau, Health Policy Analyst

Dr. Fred Nobrega, Retired MD

Gregory O'Connor, Small Business Owner

Roger O'Daniel, Small Business Owner and Former US Air Force officer

Kelly Parker, Self Employed Business Owner

Carol Pundt, Health Insurance Agent

Chris Schneeman, CLU, ChFC, RHU

Dr. Scott Wright

Dr. James Young

UPDATE

DFL party officials responded to the GOP announcement, saying "the party of no strikes again." They released this statement from DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt:

"It looks like we're in for more of the same obstructionist tactics and partisan misinformation schemes we've seen from the 'Party of No' over the past few years -- this time from a new coalition of Republican foot soldiers trying to kill health-insurance reform. It's disappointing that rather than coming together with leaders in Minnesota and around the country to work to actually help families struggling with high premiums, inadequate coverage, or no insurance at all in these tough economic times, that the Republican Party of Minnesota instead chose to form a group to block reform and rehash the disastrous Romney-care policies that have hurt so many people in Massachusetts. Sadly, sometimes it's true -- you can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.