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November 1992

From Data to Policy... to Politics: The Minnesotans Health Care Plan for Universal Access to Care

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Lurie and Miles) and Pediatrics (Dr Oberg), Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota, Center for Biomedical Ethics, University of Minnesota School of Medicine (Dr Miles), Division of Health Services Research and Policy, University of Minnesota School of Public Health (Drs Lurie, Dowd, and Finch), Minneapolis; the Minnesota Health Care Access Commission, St Paul (Drs Orbovich, Miles, and Oberg, Mr Klein, and Ms Quam); and United Health Care, Minnetonka, Minn (Ms Quam). Drs Lurie and Miles are Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Scholars in General Internal Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(11):2222-2228. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400230040007

Calls for major reform of the health care delivery system have been sounded at both the state and federal level. However, given the lack of consensus on health care reform at a federal level, more than half of the states are developing initiatives for universal access to care. In 1989, the Minnesota legislature created the Health Care Access Commission to develop a blueprint for universal access in Minnesota. To assist this effort, we studied the extent and nature of uninsurance and underinsurance within the state. In this article we report the findings of that study and discuss how the findings were first used to develop recommendations for universal access legislation. We then describe the fate of the legislation. Finally, we describe the veto and the creation of Health Right, the recently enacted plan for health care reform bill in Minnesota. This plan simultaneously expands access to care and aims to contain health care costs.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:2222-2228)