MN SF 404 – changing with the environment and my testimony, opting out of Ucare and BCBS is a good start

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Alright – so, Thursday, 2.16,23, the Health Finance and Policy Committee in MN Senate heard this bill. I have signed up to testify in favor and sent in my written testimony and was going to orally testify via zoom. If you have ever advocated for any law or policy then you know, it is the wild wild west. Things change at a moment’s notice. I saw that the Health insurance plans (or as I like to call them – the blood-sucking insurance companies) sent in one page where they added a Somali woman they helped with care coordination.

I had to change and address that. Our bill was the last to be heard and the committee members spoke with no end in sight about the bills before SF 404. I often wonder why there is no time limit to how long an elected official can speak in a committee. Anyway, we are glad it was heard. It was laid over for inclusion into the big omnibus bill. Below is my new testimony.

Dear Madam Chair and Member, thanks for the opportunity to testify supporting SF 404. 

First, I want to thank Dr. Nathan Chamilo for his iconic report on the state of US-born black Minnesotans. In that report, Dr. Chamilo stated the majority of black Minnesotans have MCO for health coverage. He also stated there is a dire racial health disparity. I totally understand the fatigue associated with racial disparities. So then let’s stop talking about it and start doing something about it. The first option to decrease and eliminate racial disparity is giving low-income Minnesotans the option and freedom to CHOOSE their health care.

This legislation is about having options; not restricting choices and freedom.

Everyone deserves the right to make their own decision about their healthcare.

The Somali woman who was going through domestic abuse, first my heart goes out to her, but if the MCO helped her coordinate services, then she can stay where she is at.

By the same token, patients who need services provided by fee for service, they too shall have the same option and ability to make decisions about their health care needs.

You know, what makes this country so great is having options and choices. We cannot in good conscience take this option from low-income Minnesotans. If we do, what does that say about us?

Madam chair – earlier you stated – Minnesotans getting quality health care was important. That is exactly what SF 404 is about; giving Minnesotans the opportunity to get the quality health care they choose for themselves and their family.

Thanks, and I hope you all support this bill.

If you wanna watch this hearing, here is the link. Our bill is about 1.50 min into the hearing or so. Phew, I had to talk fast and stay within 2 minutes.

The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.

Idil Abdull – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate