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Minnesota individual health insurance premiums may go down

Plus: lawmaker proposes ban on human microchips; Minneapolis police rescue motorist from burning car; the curator behind the Minnesota Marine Art Museum; and more.


Good news for some. The Pioneer Press’ David Montgomery reports: “Minnesota’s insurers are proposing to lower or freeze premiums on many health plans — if the federal government approves a state program to subsidize some of the risk. … The proposed rate reductions come one year after many plans saw premiums jump by more than 50 percent. In response, Minnesota lawmakers passed a program called ‘reinsurance’ that spends $271 million per year to pay some high-cost medical bills. The goal was that health insurers, freed from having to pay those costs, would transfer the savings on to their customers in the form of lower premiums.”

Well, that’s an interesting approach. The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Heather J. Carlson writes: “A Preston Republican wants to ban people from getting microchips implanted — unless it’s for a medical reason. … Rep. Greg Davids said he is working on a bill to prohibit microchip implantation. His push for legislation comes after media reports that a Wisconsin company — Three Square Market — is offering to implant a microchip in its employees. The implant is the size of a grain of rice and would be placed between the forefinger and thumb. The chip, equipped with a Radio Frequency ID, would enable employees to enter the building or buy snacks at work.”

Nightmare. The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany reports: “The speeding car had veered off the road and plunged off an overpass onto Interstate 94. … By the time two Minneapolis police officers got to the scene late Wednesday, they found the dark-colored Cadillac ATS smoldering and its two occupants trapped inside, according to police and witnesses. Minutes later, flames began shooting out from the hood. … After pulling the female passenger — identified as Lancha Robertson, 37, of Minneapolis — to safety, they struggled to free the unconscious driver, in a dramatic rescue attempt that was captured by a bystander on cellphone video.”

Meet the curator behind one of Minnesota’s more intriguing museums. The Winona Daily News’ Kilat Fitzgerald reports: “The world is filled with spectacular art, and Jon Swanson strives to give Winona access to it. … As curator of exhibitions and collections at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Swanson assembles the exhibits showcased inside. … That work includes a lot more than hanging a picture on a wall.”

In other news…

FYI: “Here are some new laws coming to Minnesota in August” [Pioneer Press]

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Very sad: “Worker killed after collision with SUV on Fargo airport runway” [Inforum]

Right wing militia: “Domestic terrorism probe spotlights Minnesota” [St. Cloud Times]

Congrats: “Twin Cities native Emily Fridlund nominated for Man Booker Prize” [City Pages]

Restaurant news: “Fhima Leaves St. Paul To Open 3.7.3. In Forum Cafeteria” [WCCO]

One-time Minnesota resident: “Playwright, Director and Actor Sam Shepard Passes Away at 73” [Broadway World]