Health Care for All encourages students to join the movement

Members of Health Care for All Minnesota spoke to College Democrats at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Tuesday educating and encouraging students to join their movement, which focused on affordable healthcare for everyone. 

Three former professors from MSU are currently a part of the Greater Mankato Chapter, which is one of ten HCAMN chapters around the state.

Meeting twice monthly, HCAMN is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting affordable and high-quality healthcare for every Minnesotan. Their goals aim to educate and engage Minnesotans on the issues of healthcare financing reform.  

The professors came and spoke on their experiences in the healthcare field as all three were involved in the healthcare field for decades. 

Mary Bliesmer, who taught nursing courses within the Allied Health and Nursing Department for a total of 33 years at MSU, shared her passion behind the movement. 

“The Affordable Care Act helped an awful lot of people get affordable insurance and also kept students on their parent’s coverage until they’re 26. But we want is for everyone to have the same access to healthcare and have it be provided by the people,” said Bliesmer. “We want everybody to be treated the same way, so universal healthcare for all, and it will be cheaper in the long run if it was implemented. It wouldn’t cost us even more than this messed up healthcare system does now.”

Michael Fatis, who taught clinical psychology during his time at MSU and has been a member of HCAMN since 2018, agreed with how expensive the healthcare system is in The United States while sharing his personal experience with healthcare as he was completing his graduate degree in Canada. 

“When I got there, one thing they handed me was a health card. I felt so safe and I had a young family at the time and felt well protected. Then coming back here [The United States] it was different even though we [former professors] have great insurance from the university, it still costs a lot of money whether you have insurance or not,” said Fatis. 

Single-payer and universal healthcare were two of their main focuses, as they also invited those running for local office to listen to them and their concerns.

“Our mission is to educate and help other people get on board. Talking to the legislators and people running for office, one of our hopes is to educate them. Many of them don’t know and they typically are for a healthcare reform, but they don’t know what that means. We’re talking about single-payer and universal coverage,” said Fatis. 

Ron Yezzi taught philosophy and medical ethics courses while at MSU. He has been teaching for roughly 32 years and shared the difficulties of getting the younger generation interested in healthcare.

“I think it’s hard to get students interested because they are much healthier than we are and it is not an immediate concern. When you’re a college student you don’t think you’ll be out of work.

There’s a hope they want things to be better for everybody and we want to present that avenue to them,” Shared Yezzi.

While speaking to the College Democrats the members were invited to ask questions and learn more about what HCAMN does. 

Today, HCAMN will have a webinar, “Keeping Americans Sick and Poor: How Big Money Sabotages Health Care Finance Reform” at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom, free of cost. More information can be found on their website.

Header Photo: Michael Fatis (left) Ron Yezzi (middle) and Mary Bliesmer spoke to College Democrats at MSU Tuesday about Health Care for All. (Julia Barton/The Reporter)

Write to Julia Barton at Julia.Barton@mnsu.edu

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