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Minnesota House OKs $300 million health insurance rebate package

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota State Capitol

Happy Making America Great Again Day!

The Minnesota House has signed off on a $300 million health insurance package. Says Erin Golden in the Strib, “The bill approved Thursday in the House would provide rebates for many of the approximately 123,000 Minnesotans who buy insurance on the individual market and do not qualify for subsidies to help with their surging premiums. It includes several other provisions Republicans said were meant to expand access to health care or make it more affordable, including coverage for people with serious conditions who lose their health insurance but still require treatment, and allowing for-profit health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, to operate in the state.” Gotta get more profit in that health care game.

Judge says OK for sick leave pay … within the borders of Minneapolis. Says Jessie Van Berkel of the Strib, “Minneapolis can move forward with plans to require companies to provide paid sick leave to employees, Hennepin County Judge Mel Dickstein ruled Thursday. But he issued a temporary injunction to block Minneapolis from forcing companies based outside the city to comply in their Minneapolis operations. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce had requested an injunction to halt enforcement of the sick leave mandate, arguing that it conflicted with and was pre-empted by state law, and was an example of local government overreach.”

More from Jim Spencer of the Strib on the Feds charge against TCF for overdraft fees. “The federal consumer finance watchdog alleged that TCF deceived customers by associating the opt-in overdraft fee with mandatory requirements, causing account holders to accept the optional fees at rates much higher than other financial institutions. The bureau also said the bank offered bonuses to employees who got high numbers of opt-in overdraft service fees attached to new accounts.” Who will put an end to this noxious crippling of job creators?

Stribber Lee Schafer has this to say about legislation tailored to let Xcel Energy skirt the PUC. “Not even 100 words as introduced, this bill wouldn’t take a middle-schooler two minutes to study. All it would do is let the state’s largest power company — and a big local employer — step over the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, or PUC, and build the power plant in Becker it wants, when it wants. The hope was that this bill was only a show for the benefit of local voters worried about the economic impact of a diminished Xcel presence in town and not a serious proposal … .Then, at its first hearing this week at the Minnesota House of Representatives, it was approved out of the committee on a bipartisan, 16-3 vote. So the state, through the Legislature, really does seem ready to knock the legs out from under its own electric utility regulator.”

Adrian Peterson thinks he has a lot of suitors. Jace Frederick of the PiPress reports, “[Peterson] said he’s looking for a place where he and his family are comfortable and he can compete for a championship that has eluded him throughout his career. Peterson wants a team with a good defense, a good offensive scheme and a great coaching staff. ‘There’s a couple teams that I’ve thought about, and New York is one of them that’s popped up’, Peterson said of the Giants. ‘Tampa Bay, a lot of different teams … Houston’. The thought of retirement doesn’t seem to be in Peterson’s mind at the moment. He said he’s planning on playing about five more years.”

Also in sports: Final Four, baby! The FOX 9 story says, “Daniel Oturu, the top-rated basketball recruit in the state of Minnesota, announced his commitment to his hometown Gophers. The Cretin-Derham Hall junior said he called Gophers head coach Richard Pitino on Thursday morning to confirm his choice. … Oturu picked Minnesota over Kansas, Baylor, Creighton, Nebraska, Memphis, Northern Iowa and Providence.” Kansas!?

Nickelback can’t be far behind. Chris Riemenschneider of the Strib alerts us that, “At least one British rock band that’s long-overdue in Minnesota will finally play here in 2017. Enduring metal kingpins Iron Maiden have confirmed a June 16 date at Xcel Energy Center as part of a 25-city North American tour, their first Twin Cities date in 17 years.”

That’s a bummer, man. Says Kim Hyatt for the Forum News Service, “A former Fargo attorney whose license was suspended in North Dakota in 2015 is now disbarred from practicing law in Minnesota after a recent state Supreme Court decision. The Minnesota Supreme Court issued the disbarment of attorney Jesse David Matson on Wednesday, Jan. 18, stating, ‘The nature of Matson’s misconduct is serious and extensive’. … The most-recent disciplinary action was taken after the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in St. Paul filed a petition against Matson for committing financial misconduct by misappropriating client funds, failing to place client funds in trust, failing to return unearned fees and using improper fee agreements, as well as neglecting and abandoning numerous client matters, failing to communicate with clients and failing to abide by court rules.” Other than that, great work all around.

The Strib is pro Sunday booze! “Sundays in America have changed. … Minnesotans can buy alcohol at taverns and restaurants or fill a growler at a brewery on Sundays. But those who want to shop at a liquor store must travel across the border, meaning that Minnesota retailers lose revenue to Iowa, the Dakotas and Wisconsin. … Prohibiting liquor sales on one day of the week is an antiquated policy that makes no sense in modern times. Lawmakers should recognize that and put this perennial issue to rest once and for all.” And, may we add, move on to something more important?

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Sue Martin on 01/20/2017 - 08:38 am.

    Amendment A2 to HF 1

    Can you report on the health care provisions excluded from required coverage that Amendment A2 lists? Cancer? Maternity care? Emergency services?

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