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Impasse between Blue Cross and Children’s Minnesota could affect thousands

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Just another day in the world’s greatest health care system. Says Joe Carlson of the Strib, “With just over a week left to strike a deal, Minnesota’s largest children’s hospital and a dominant insurer in the state appear to be moving further apart as they attempt to negotiate a network contract that will determine payment rates for health care provided to thousands of very sick ­children. Children’s Minnesota, which has two hospitals and two dozen clinics in the metro area, is in the midst of tense contract negotiations with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, whose commercial and Medicaid health plans cover about 66,000 patients of the pediatric provider.”

Did he leave a tip? In the Strib, Lee Svitak Dean reports: “Even the Dalai Lama has to eat. But how do you feed the spiritual leader of Tibet? With the same care you provide any guest, says Gavin Kaysen, chef/owner of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis and Bellecour in Wayzata. He and his crew cooked lunch for the Dalai Lama Friday at a private home during his recent visit to the Twin Cities.  And the favorite foods of His Holiness? Chicken, beef, rice, clear chicken broth, lots of vegetables, and bread. He loves bread.”

Somehow, someone will protest this. Stribber Josephine Marcotty writes, “Want to figure out what Minnesota’s next state bird could be? Two unusual sculptures at the Commons Park in downtown Minneapolis offer a guide on the possibilities as rising temperatures alter the state’s climate. … Named Orbacles — orb for their round shapes and oracle for their predictions — the towers illustrate a tangible outcome of climate change and the way Minnesota’s very identity will change as a result, said the designers.”

FoxNews ambush interviewer Jesse Watters, back from spending, you know, more time with his family, caught up with our own ex-Gov. Jesse Ventura at a pot forum in D.C.. In The Washington Post, Cleve Wootson writes: “Watters started with lighthearted questions about Ventura’s pet issue, marijuana legalization: Could Donald Trump and other politicians benefit from being high? Things sobered quickly when Watters asked about the lawsuit against Chris Kyle’s estate. ‘Were you high when you sued Chris Kyle’s widow?’ Watters asked, throwing Ventura off balance. ‘Was I high?’ he replied. ‘You know, that’s a bull — question and I expect if from someone from Fox.’”

Entirely coincidentally, a trio of Iowa Public Radio reporters have this story up. “A few days before Iowa’s new medical marijuana law takes effect, a Minnesota cannabis producer says his business is not yet profitable two years into that state’s program. The two states have similar medical cannabis laws, but Iowa’s is more restrictive. Iowa’s new law will allow for two medical cannabis manufacturers and five dispensaries in the state. Dr. Andrew Bachman, the CEO of Leafline Labs, says Minnesota’s law creates a more sustainable business climate, in part because Iowa’s law limits the THC content of medical cannabis.” More restrictive!?

You have to wonder how other inmates will treat this guy. Grace Pastoor of the Forum News Service says, “A Bemidji man who kidnapped and raped a 5-year-old girl after killing the child’s baby sitter was sentenced to 52 years in prison Monday. Jacob William Kinn, 33, pleaded guilty June 6 to three felonies: one count of second-degree unintentional murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 13. As part of a plea deal, Kinn’s attorneys, public defenders Symon Schindler-Syme and Paul Thompson, agreed to a sentence much stricter than what Minnesota guidelines call for.”

The first order of business: Baggage fees and less legroom. The Dow Jones News Service reports, “Amtrak named former Delta Air Lines Inc. chief executive Richard Anderson as the new president and CEO of the national passenger railroad, which is grappling with a backlog of repairs even as ridership continues to grow. Anderson, 62, who also headed the former Northwest Airlines in the Twin Cities, will succeed current Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman, who joined the company in September 2016. … Amtrak officials say that Anderson is the sort of leader Moorman had been tasked with recruiting when he arrived last year: a veteran of a competitive industry with the experience of passengers at its heart.” Well, certainly those passengers who don’t mind being treated like livestock.

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