I live in St. Paul and I do not know very much about the Brainerd area. After a moving experience this week, however, I have formed an opinion and it is a very favorable one.
I was in the audience as the state Senate Health Committee wrestled with a proposal to provide a comprehensive, affordable health care package to all Minnesotans. To do so in an economical manner, the proposal, called the Minnesota Health Plan, would create a state-wide pool of all citizens and replace our current system of multiple insurance company-based financing. Of course, many see this as a radical idea and refuse to consider it.
Sen. Paul Koering went into the deliberations with great suspicions and knowing that many others in his political party are strongly opposed. Unlike many, on both sides, when faced with a new idea, however, he remained open to discussion of it and refused to stick with a knee-jerk reaction. He spoke of the criticism he was sure to face, were he to vote in favor and move the proposal along in the long process. He voted in favor of the plan in order to keep the discussion alive and give legislators and citizens a chance to consider a new idea. The proposal will advance to other committees for their examination.
This was a courageous act that has become all too rare in our Legislature, which is split into irreconcilable camps. I decided that a district that elects such a legislator most be something special. Thank you for sending Sen. Koering to the Legislature.
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