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DFL Party Statement On GOP State Senator Michelle Benson's Run For Governor
Today, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement in response to State Senator Michelle Benson’s announcement of her candidacy for governor of Minnesota:
“From her first days in office, Michelle Benson has worked to strip health care away from millions of Minnesotans. She has belittled those suffering under the skyrocketing costs of insulin, suggested ‘going to the emergency room’ as a way to avoid rationing medication, and advocated against a bill intended to save the lives of diabetics dying because of the cost of their medication.
“Benson championed legislation to allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples, spread dangerous misinformation about COVID-19, and worked to make it easier for dangerous people to get guns. Benson’s agenda is reckless and dangerous for Minnesotans.”
- Benson has been a long-time opponent of the Affordable Care Act even though the legislation provides protection for 2.3 million Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions and 265,000 people in Minnesota would lose coverage if it was repealed
- She championed a proposal to take dental and vision coverage away from 510,000 Minnesotans, 25,000 of whom are in Benson’s home county of Anoka
- Benson spread misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic including challenging the need for vaccinations and testing
- Benson co-authored a bill that would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against same-sex couples and voted against hate crime legislation that passed the senate which would have increased penalties 25 percent for crimes motivated by bias
- Benson has advocated against common-sense gun safety legislation and in 2015, she voted against banning “straw purchases” of firearms, which is the practice of purchasing or obtain a firearm on behalf of a person who is ineligible to possess one
- Senator Benson was responsible for the legislature’s failure to pass the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act in 2019 and suggested that those struggling with the cost of insulin “can go to the emergency room” or use “coupons to help with copays”
- As the chair of the health and human services committee, Benson led the fight for the elimination of the health care provider tax. Eliminating it would have caused a $1.5 billion hole in the health and human services budget and risked cuts to low-income health programs and jeopardized programs for people with disabilities and the elderly.