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Health insurance premiums could actually drop for individuals in Minnesota

The GleanOf course, with a little more neglect from D.C., these numbers could go the other wayKyle Potter of the AP, looking at our 2018 health insurance rates says, “Minnesotans who buy health coverage on their own should see only slight rate increases, and even some reduced ones, after state regulators on Monday announced the final rates for 2018. It’s a welcome change after years of double-digit premium hikes and concern that the state’s entire individual market was on the brink of collapse. Premiums for 2018 will range from an average increase of nearly 3 percent to a decrease of more than 13 percent … .”

Prior to tonight’s big game, Sports Illustrated says: “The Twins didn't get this far by listening to anybody spouting stats. They're about the magic, and if Buxton and company can channel the spirit of Kirby (Puckett), Herbie (Kent Hrbek) and Wrench (Dan Gladden), they just might produce another Minnesota miracle to go with their 1987 and '91 championships.” Some of us will be watching through our fingers.

Also in pursuit of a title. The Lynx get some attention from The New York Times. Says Seth Berkman, “Minnesota hopes to claim its fourth championship trophy since 2011 for a city that is unrivaled in its embrace of women’s professional basketball. Followers of the league, and even the Lynx’s foes, acknowledge that an engaged ownership and fan base — not to mention the competitive advantage of having a core of Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson, Seimone Augustus and Renee Montgomery — have made Minnesota the envy of the W.N.B.A.”

End of an era. Says Rick Nelson in the Strib, “Lucia's Restaurant, a pioneer in the farm-to-table movement and a much-admired fixture in the Twin Cities dining scene, is closing after a distinguished 32-year run. ‘With the loss of the parking lot last year, the changing restaurant environment of Uptown, challenges to the restaurant industry as a whole and the impending Hennepin Avenue construction ahead, the current space has become nonviable for Lucia's,’ co-owner Jason Jenny said. Parking — or the lack thereof — proved to be a particularly thorny issue. In April 2016, the restaurant lost its conveniently located parking lot — an invaluable asset for crowded, busy Uptown — and the effect was catastrophic.”

Critical condition. Stribber Tim Harlow reports, “A former Minnesota man, the son of a longtime teacher at Concordia Academy in Roseville, lay on an operating table in Las Vegas Monday afternoon, one of hundreds wounded in a mass shooting during a music festival. Phillip Aurich suffered a collapsed lung and a ruptured diaphragm, his spleen removed and part of colon removed after being hit several times by gunfire, according to several Facebook posts. He is in critical condition and will undergo more surgery, the posts said.”

Also in the Strib, this from Jennifer Bjorhus on the condition of the Minnesota River. “The increasing volume of water flowing down the Minnesota River is offsetting slim gains in water quality. That’s the core finding of a new report on the Minnesota River, one of the state’s most polluted rivers and one that flows into the Mississippi River in St. Paul. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s conclusion is grim: ‘Sediment clouds the water, phosphorus causes algae, nitrogen poses risks to humans and fish, and bacteria make the water unsafe for swimming.’ The agricultural workhorse river has been the focus of intense efforts since the 1970s to improve its water quality … .”

In the PiPress, Mara Gottfried writes, “A St. Paul police officer charged with misdemeanor domestic assault against his girlfriend pleaded guilty Monday to disorderly conduct. Washington County District Judge Gregory Galler sentenced Labathe to 90 days in jail, but stayed the jail time on the condition that he complete terms of his probation, along with chemical health and mental health programming … .”

Substantial, huh? In The Los Angeles Times, Laurence Darmiento writes: “Wells Fargo Chief Executive Timothy Sloan is expected to tell a Senate committee Tuesday that the San Francisco bank has made substantial progress in reforming itself following its accounts scandal. … Sloan says that the bank is on pace to have its retail branches visited 16,000 times by employees posing as customers — so-called ‘mystery shoppers’. Sloan added that he and other senior executives have visited more than 100 branch offices as part of the reform effort.”

Very much related. Matt Egan at CNN Money reports, “A powerful Democrat in Congress says regulators should consider shutting down Wells Fargo for abusing the trust of millions of its customers. Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, issued a 38-page report on Friday slamming regulators for failing to punish the bank more severely for its recent scandals. The report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the committee, described Wells Fargo as a ‘repeat offender’ for, among other things, opening as many as 3.5 million potentially fake accounts, forcing up to 570,000 borrowers into unneeded auto insurance and allegedly discriminating in mortgage lending.”

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Comments (2)

"Responsibility”

CEOs and their board members often cite their level of "responsibility" as a justification for bloated salaries and perks. If they actually bore those responsibilities, they'd be in prison, their assets confiscated and shared among the millions from whom they stole by fraud. If corporations were actually "people," as the SCOTUS would like us to believe, Wells Fargo as a company would be enduring the sort of punishment that you or I would have to endure if we stole money from our friends and business associates via fraud. They'd be out of business, with shareholders receiving pennies on the dollar invested. That this hasn't happened, and is unlikely to happen, should be a primary exhibit in every Democratic candidate's playbook when the discussion turns to why fewer financial regulations are, as Republicans would have us believe, a good idea. Fewer regulations simply mean more opportunities for corporate, and especially banking, dishonesty.

What theft?

Wait...what money did Wells Fargo steal? The over zealous employees set up fake accounts in real customers names to earn bonuses. None of the customers had their money stolen. What happened is for the customers that tried to get OTHER credit from other creditors, they MAY have to pay a higher interest rate to the OTHER creditor. So how do those people get made whole. Wells didn't take their money, other creditors did.