by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
September 11, 2009
Maple Grove, Minn. — Several hundred people attended a town hall meeting on health care reform Friday night hosted by Rep. Erik Paulsen in Maple Grove.
Paulsen says the status quo is not working and he would like to see the country’s health care system reformed. But the 3rd District Republican says he doesn’t approve of many of the proposals currently being considered by Congress.
Paulsen says he favors a bipartisan plan that would bring down costs over the long term.
“The status quo needs to be changed, but I think first and foremost we have to keep the doctor-patient relationship,” he said. “It has to be patient-centered. We have to focus on that more than anything else – I don’t want any special interest group, member of Congress or politician or bureaucrat making decisions between a doctor and their patient.”
Supporters of President Obama’s reform efforts say the current system allows insurance companies to make decisions between doctors and their patients.
However, audience member Carole Tubesing from Rockford said she hopes Congress does not throw out everything from the current health care system as it works toward an overhaul.
“That is not my choice,” she said. “I would rather pay my huge premium that I’m paying now than to go to government run health care. I’m afraid it will be mismanaged. I’m concerned about the amount of money it’s going to cost when they start running out of money.”
Paulsen says he’d like to see a plan that would cover people with pre-existing conditions, and allow small businesses and the self-employed to join insurance pools that help them bring down insurance costs.