Rep. Gottwalt: Regardless of health reform law, more improvements needed

A Republican state lawmaker says Minnesota needs to continue improving its health care system whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the federal health care overhaul or Congress repeals it.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt of St. Cloud, who chairs the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee, spoke about the future of health care at the University of St Thomas Friday. Gottwalt said what happens with the Affordable Care Act or Congress doesn't really matter.

"We still need to do the stuff that moves Minnesota ahead," Gottwalt said. "I think I've expressed my skepticism about the top-downness of big government approaches to this. There are still ways we need to move forward in terms of consumer empowerment and alignment of incentives."

Gottwalt said there aren't enough average people involved in the political process.

"When the frustration level reaches the point where you look around and say 'those politicians are not acting the way we want,' the power of the vote is still primary in this country," Gottwalt said. "People need to get engaged."

Gottwalt said the federal health care law is a combination of many ideas and that Minnesota should choose those that work for the state and oppose those that would not.

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