Minnesota Rep. Tina Liebling has shown admirable leadership in hearing and co-authoring a bill (HF 363) that stops a number of private hospitals from abusing low-income patients. It specifically stops a state agency from acting as a below-market-rate debt collector for those privately-run hospitals. The state only charges a private hospital $15 for seizing a person’s income tax or property tax refund to pay towards a medical debt. Mayo Clinic, incidentally, is not one of the private health care facilities getting the special privilege of government intervention in debt collection.

I hope that State Sen. Carla Nelson will grant a hearing to the bill in her Senate Taxes Committee and vote in favor of it. I anticipate she would agree that the state should stop being a collection service for certain private health care providers. Taxpayers don’t approve of public agencies unfairly subsidizing select businesses.

Steve Monk, Rochester

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