By: Rep. Angie Craig, for SW News Media
The No. 1 thing I hear across Minnesota’s Second Congressional District is if health care isn’t affordable, it’s not accessible.
I grew up the daughter of a single mother. I remember a time when we didn’t have health insurance, and my little sister got sick. I remember the stack of unpaid bills growing with every passing month. That story still reflects the lives of too many Minnesotans today.
In the years since then, our health care laws have improved tremendously. Still, those improvements are not enough. Most everyone I meet now has health insurance — but sky-high premiums and huge out-of-pocket costs for high-quality health care lay a heavy burden on families all over Minnesota.
I’ve talked with farmers from Zumbrota who hold daytime jobs and farm by flashlight so they can have reliable health insurance. I’ve heard from a man in Rosemount who has seen the cost of his prescription drugs go up 150% over the last 10 years. I’ve seen the faces of parents who have lost their children because of the excessively high cost of insulin. Just last month I convened a roundtable in Belle Plaine, where I heard from folks around the district who are paying too much for their health care and prescription drugs.
Here’s the good news: I’m working with both parties to fix it.
Since I took office just over a year ago, I’ve introduced or supported more than 60 bills that would help reduce premiums, lower out-of-pocket costs and reduce the price of prescription drugs.
I’ve introduced the bipartisan State Health Care Premium Reduction Act, which would lower health insurance premiums in the individual market.
I’ve co-sponsored and helped pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which, if passed by the Senate, will lower out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs — saving Minnesotans thousands of dollars.
I’ve introduced The Emergency Access to Insulin Act, which would make insulin more affordable and accessible and would hold drug companies accountable for inflating the cost of insulin.
All of these ideas will help make Minnesotans’ health care more affordable and more accessible right now. I spend day after day fighting to find ways to compromise and work together with colleagues in both parties in order to advance these bills and ideas — because the health of Minnesotans is, and always will be, my top priority as your representative in the United States Congress.