“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”
– Walter Cronkite
As a young lawyer, Lori got her start battling insurance companies on behalf of patients in need of lifesaving coverage. She will never forget the ordeal these patients faced—the devastation of a critical illness and the arrogant indifference of large insurance companies.
In 2012, the national publication “Health Leaders” magazine recognized Attorney General Swanson as one of 20 Americans who is making a difference in healthcare.
- Accretive Health—owned by a New York hedge fund—imbedded bill collectors in Minnesota hospital emergency rooms to shake down patients for money in times of distress. Attorney General Swanson intervened with hard-fought litigation that eventually banned the company from doing business in Minnesota—the first time a Wall Street company is believed to have been thrown out of a state. The New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC all recognized Lori’s successful battle to halt these aggressive practices.
- Swanson negotiated a statewide agreement with every Minnesota hospital—the only agreement of its kind in the country—to stop hospitals from charging uninsured patients up to four times more than they charge to insurance companies.
- Swanson stopped hospitals from charging exorbitant interest on unpaid medical bills and got over $1 million in unlawful interest returned to patients.
- She stopped medical clinics from peddling health care credit cards that deceptively spiked their interest rates.
- After the Minnesota Legislature voted to allow for-profit HMOs to do business in Minnesota in 2017, Attorney General Swanson pushed the legislature to enact legislation to protect the $7 billion in assets held by the state’s nonprofit health plans. The Star Tribune praised Lori’s efforts: “As Swanson points out, there’s troubling precedent for loosely regulated nonprofit insurer conversions that yield big executive payouts or transfer assets to new ownership without recognizing the taxpayers’ financial interests.”
- She shut down numerous health discount companies that sold policies riddled with loopholes that provided illusory coverage.
- Attorney General Swanson went to court to challenge the termination of over $100 million in payments by the federal government to lower MinnesotaCare premiums.
- She persuaded insurance companies to stop imposing restrictions that hampered patients’ access to medication to treat opioid withdrawal.