Sen. Al Franken hit the road to southwest Minnesota Thursday — and suprise! — folks wanted to talk about health care.
The Marshall Independent says he spent the day at Southwest Minnesota State University, the Schwan Food Co. and the hospital in Dawson.
The paper said he heard from Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center President Mary Maertens, who supports health care reform but not at the expense of rural providers:
“We don’t want unintended consequences for rural health care,” Maertens said. “We don’t want a systems model that rewards only metro area hospitals.”
Franken said he agreed with those thoughts and said health care reform must be based on quality of service at an affordable cost. Minnesota already has a history of providing such care, Franken said.
He also addressed global climate change, transportation and education, the paper said.
Franken said one reason for the economic downturn is because the nation has not invested in infrastructure such as highways. While the U.S. has a significant debt, it must still invest in highways and other infrastructure projects, Franken said.
No Child Left Behind may force school districts to pay more attention to minority students and holds the district accountable, but it punishes districts instead of encouraging them to find innovative and creative ways to engage students, Franken said.