Candidate profile: Metzger looks to tackle health careHealth care has long been an important issue to Ann Marie Metzger.
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
Health care has long been an important issue to Ann Marie Metzger.
But it wasn’t until January 2011 that the health care system had a direct impact on her life. After being called in for a follow-up mammogram, Metzger was told she first had to consult with an insurance adviser, who told her that her provider would not pay for the exam.
She paid the bill and everything turned out fine, Metzger said, but she was left steamed.
“I can’t believe they did this to me,” she said. “I have the time to fight with them, but think about the people who don’t.”
The Woodbury Democrat said she will take that fight with her to the Capitol if elected in November. She is running against Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury, in House District 53B.
Metzger, a 15-year Woodbury resident originally hailing from the East Coast, where she worked in banking and finance before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom, said she is running with health care and education at the top of her priority list.
She said she’s proud of her involvement in a process that got insurance companies to return millions of public dollars to the state and hopes to advance health-care related causes at the Legislature.
“We should make sure all Minnesotans have the health care they need,” Metzger said, adding that she would wring out waste in the health care system by working to remove “gatekeeper” roadblocks that reduce access for patients.
On education, Metzger said her main focus will be paying back the education funding shift that helped balance the state’s budget and to secure a dependable, reliable funding source for schools.
She said those dollars shouldn’t come from property taxes, but rather from closing tax loopholes and considering higher taxes on Minnesota’s higher earners.
“I know it’s verboten,” Metzger said of raising taxes, but added that middle-income earners pay up to three times more than those in higher income brackets. “That’s not progressive.”
Metzger said she is also an ardent opponent of efforts to require voters to present identification at the polls and, especially, the marriage amendment.
“I think it’s just really sad,” she said of the marriage amendment. “I hope and pray that Minnesota will be the first state to say no.”