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Minnesota’s reinsurance program could jeopardize hundreds of millions in federal funding

Plus: Minnesota joins other states investigating opioid industry; new Allina-backed health insurance company to start selling coverage next year; judge orders new lake home torn down; and more.

From the AP, Kyle Potter’s story reads: “Minnesota is at risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for the state’s health care program for the working poor as it pursues a waiver aimed at lowering premiums for people buying insurance through the state exchange. Governor Mark Dayton wrote Tuesday to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price urging President Donald Trump’s administration to ‘reverse this very destructive financial penalty’ to MinnesotaCare, which covers some people who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford private coverage. Dayton wrote that the state had been told it would see $369 million in cuts to MinnesotaCare funding as a consequence of approving a reinsurance program.” 

This seems overdue. But the AP is saying: “Attorneys general from most states are broadening their investigation into the opioid industry as a nationwide overdose crisis continues to claim thousands of lives. They announced Tuesday that they had served subpoenas requesting information from five companies that make powerful prescription painkiller demanded information from three distributors. Forty-one attorneys general are involved in various parts of the civil investigation. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is among them.” 

More health news: Stribber Christopher Snowbeck writes, “A new health insurance company backed by Minneapolis-based Allina Health System expects to start selling coverage to large employers next year, and hopes to be in the state’s Medicare market beginning in 2019. In January, Allina announced a joint venture with health insurance giant Aetna that could provide one of the first significant examples in many years of new competition in the state’s health insurance market.”

Released. The AP says, “A Detroit-area doctor charged with performing genital mutilation on girls in a Muslim sect will be released from jail as she awaits trial. A judge on Tuesday was persuaded to grant bond to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala after supporters pledged to pay more than $4 million if she flees the country. … Eight people have been charged, including two Minnesota mothers and the owner of a Detroit-area clinic where the alleged procedures occurred after hours.”

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Arrested. KSTP-TV reports, “Minneapolis police announced they have arrested the driver who reportedly fled the scene of a crash in northeast Minneapolis early Sunday in which a 20-year-old Eden Prairie woman was killed. At a press conference, police said 21-year-old Michael Laurence Campbell was located Tuesday morning at a residence in Wright County.”

One way to deal with it. Says the AP, “A judge in central Minnesota says a new lake home must be torn down after a neighbor complained about the size of the building. According to court documents, Kathleen and Matt Mimbach began the project on their property on Grand Lake in Rockville in November 2015. Building permits filed with the city called it ‘a remodel with a new addition.’ But neighbors Thomas and Holly Ruether contend it actually was a tear-down and the building of a new, larger home.”