Everyone should have access to high-quality, comprehensive healthcare and control over their reproductive choices.
Everyone should have health insurance, regardless of where and if they work, and everyone should have access to quality healthcare, regardless of where they live. Nobody should have to avoid the doctor’s office or hospital because they can’t afford it. Because of these beliefs, I support Senator John Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan, a single, statewide plan that would cover all Minnesotans for all their medical needs. Read more about Senator Marty’s plan here.
The widespread unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the dangers of tying health insurance to private employment and made it clear that we are all only as healthy and safe as the least-insured members of our communities. My business provides insurance coverage for our full-time staff, and it is the single largest cost I incur outside of payroll. Every year, I meet with our insurance broker to handle that coverage, and every year, I find that rates have gone up, coverage has become more restrictive, and I have fewer choices for my staff. The rising cost of healthcare is a major, expensive problem for employers and employees across our state.
Hospitals and clinics are closing in rural areas all around Minnesota, and this is a serious issue.
Keeping rural clinics and hospitals open not only provides access to healthcare for rural communities but also supports high-paying and reliable jobs in those communities. Nobody should have to drive for an hour just to deliver their baby, and vulnerable patients with health issues should not be put at risk because of long travel distances to receive care. This is especially true in our state, where bad weather can make long-distance travel impossible. My mom died from leukemia in 2018, and I remember a harrowing trip to get her to the hospital from her home in Pepin, Wisconsin during a spring blizzard. It was terrifying for me and risky for her. Increased and obstructive travel time for healthcare is a problematic reality for many Minnesotans that we need to fix.
I am firmly pro-choice and believe that each of us should be in control of our own healthcare decisions and our own bodies. I am proud that I was named “Legislator of the Year” by NARAL in 2021 and am a member of the Pro-choice Caucus. I served on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota for three years, was a member of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights in the 1980s, and volunteered as a clinic escort for many years, as a mother I feel strongly that I should be in control of my body and my reproductive choices. As a college student, I received my first reproductive healthcare from Planned Parenthood, and I continue to support them today. Everyone should have access to birth control and abortion services, regardless of economic status, and each of us should control the size of our families without government input or control.
In my first term, I authored the following bills that would help address some of the issues mentioned above. If you want to learn more about the bills or have additional ideas, please reach out to me.
- Protect Reproductive Options Act
Prepared and paid for by Campaign of Ann Johnson Stewart, PO Box 46505, Plymouth, MN 55446