Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Minnesota health spending task force off to difficult start

doctor's office
REUTERS/Mike Blake
Check the couch cushions. MPR’s Briana Bierschbach reports: “The task: find $100 million in savings in state health spending. … The timeline: one year. … That’s the edict for a new commission created by lawmakers last session to try to trim the rising cost of state health care programs. The Health and Human Services Blue Ribbon Commission, a 17-member panel, includes experts in health care, social services, equity and health care technology. Four members are appointed by the Legislature, and the rest are picked by Gov. Tim Walz. … The commission’s work has now started, but it’s slow going, and some members are already daunted by the work.”

Insulin impasse. The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel writes: “Lawmakers are fighting the clock to sort through a complex list of disagreements on an insulin plan to help diabetics before the Minnesota Legislature convenes in three months. … After a deal fell through last spring, activists have been demanding lawmakers go into overtime — by holding a special session — as the cost of the necessary drug has spiked in recent years. For those who can’t afford it or don’t have insurance, the problem can be life-threatening. Approximately 10.5% of Minnesotans, around 466,638 people, have some type of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.”

Stop us if you’ve heard this one. Politico’s Liz Crampton reports: “Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson has a long track record over his 28-year tenure in Congress of defending rural interests. Yet he’s one of the most endangered Democrats in the House because of the Trump effect. … In 2020, the Trump campaign has indicated that it will pay close attention to Minnesota by amping up rural GOP turnout, which makes Peterson’s reelection prospects even harder. … The tough odds and a well-backed GOP challenger are fueling speculation that Peterson may finally step down.

Like something out of a movie. City Pages’s Hannah Jones writes: “In August 2018, Federal Medical Center Rochester ordered several cases of Italian and ranch salad dressings from a company called Artisan Foods. … A shipment of ‘creamy Italian dressing’ arrived at the federal prison in October of that year. A label on the container said it came from Artisan Foods, and that the dressing would expire in 2019. But when inspectors peeled it off, what was underneath told a different story. … Below, they could clearly read that the box was from a company called FlavorPros, and the dressing was already past its ‘best by’ date.”

In other news…

Beetle invasion:DNR speeds up tamarack timber auctions as beetle decimates Minnesota stands” [Star Tribune]

Remembering when the gales of November came early:Hundreds gather at Split Rock in memory of Edmund Fitzgerald’s demise” [Duluth News Tribune]

Quite a career:RIP Terry Katzman, key figure in the development of Twin Cities rock in the ’80s and beyond” [City Pages]

No comments yet

Leave a Reply