Whose privacy doe Paulsen Care about?

Recently Congressman Erik Paulsen voted on two bills that seem to be in conflict with each other.  As a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee he voted against the release of President Trumps taxes.

That’s the second time he’s done so in committee and the fourth overall.  His office has explained to me that he votes this way because he does not believe that an individual should be compelled to release their taxes and that he feels the president should do so voluntarily. (more…)

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Patients can’t go back to pre-ACA

I am twice a cancer survivor.  With my first diagnosis in 1999 and my second in 2001, I felt lost.  I couldn’t see what the future would hold.  My fears lessen as time passes and my treatment has been successful, but a new concern has emerged.  I now have a pre-existing condition that health insurance companies used to claim made people too risky to insure.

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, prohibits such discrimination and implemented many other positive patient protections, that often get lost when we talk about its downsides. The ACA isn’t perfect. But cancer patients and survivors cannot afford to return to a time when insurance is unaffordable, coverage is inadequate and their treatment is at risk. (more…)

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It’s time for a real town hall meeting

Thanks to John Mallo for posing questions to Rep. Erik Paulsen; my hope is that we have the opportunity to hear or see thorough answers to these questions, and not by way of “phone” town meetings. Constituents like me would like to meet with him, perhaps in a real town hall meeting. It’s an important part of what it means to be a democracy.

I would like to add questions about an additional area of concern:  health care legislation. Prior to the withdrawal of the Republican proposal (which I assume Paulsen would have voted for*) his position was:  “After many years and countless stories of patients facing skyrocketing premiums, losing their health care plan and not being able to see their doctor, we are replacement Obamacare with a plan that will lower costs and give patients immediate relief.” (more…)

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Trump’s budget built on greed, fear

Former Vice President Joe Biden said:  “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value.”

Republican President Trump has just released the short version of his proposed budget. The Trump administration proposes a $54 billion increase in military expenditures. This budget moves us to the ideals of the Roman Empire. Peace through military strength. Rebellions were ruthlessly put down by military might. The wealthy ruled, and the ordinary people were heavily taxed. (more…)

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Paulsen spins on AHCA

All the nice spin from Rep. Erik Paulsen (Sun-Current, 3/17/17) about the Republican-proposed American Health Care Act (ACHA) can’t mask what this bill is:  a cruel disaster.

Rep. Paulsen would like us to believe that the Affordable Care Act is not working, but the uninsured rate is the lowest it’s ever been, and a majority of Americans now favor keeping that legislation in pace with fixes. Yet, Paulsen, Trump and the GOP-lead Congress are in favor of a bill where 24 million people would lose coverage according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. (more…)

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Repair, don’t repeal the Affordable Care Act

As a 62-year-old retired woman who benefits from the excellent coverage and care of the ACA, I am concerned about the Republican health care plan. According to AARP (of whom I am a member) a 55 year old earning $25,000 would look at an increase of $3,600 in premiums. A 64 year old earning the same $25,000 would pay an additional $7,000. If that 64 year old only earned $15,000 they would be smacked with an $8,4000 increase.

According to the US census, Representative Erik Paulsen has close to 160,000 constituents in his district between the ages of 55 and 64. Does he realize how many people he would be trowing into poverty by voting for this plan? (more…)

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It’s hard to ask questions of Paulsen

An open letter to Rep. Erik Paulsen:

“Town hall” meetings are something that you have not done for over seven years, since 2010. Believing instead that “phone” town meetings serve the same propose. I have listened to your “phone” town meetings and yet the questions I have never come up, nor am I given the opportunity to ask my questions. In lieu of these problems, perhaps the newspaper is a way to ask questions and, hopefully, it will give you the opportunity to answer for everyone to see.

In February, while serving on the House Ways and Means Committee, you voted against requesting President Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department. Trump is the first president to break the precedent started by Richard Nixon over 40 years ago. The information could be very helpful in determining whether President Trump is getting loans from Russia. Since Trump had declared bankruptcy four times, he has had a hard time getting credit in America. Can you please explain why you chose not to have Trump’s tax return released? And do you not see how the information gained could very helpful? (more…)

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Erik Paulsen is willing to protect Trump’s privacy, but not yours

The following letter to the editor appeared in City Pages April 3, 2017:

Reader Clara Severson responds to After shameful Congress sell-out, Minnesota takes the lead on internet privacy:

First, the internet is a utility, as ruled by a U.S. court. It is highly inappropriate for a utility to be profiting from selling utility data.

Secondly, Erik Paulsen is working his butt off to protect Trump’s privacy via not forcing him to release his taxes. Why is he more than happy to sell out his constituents, but won’t do the same to the president?

Third, Paulsem’s office says that the bill doesn’t matter anyway since Obama’s protections weren’t even in place yet.  (What?) They also hint that the internet being a utility is “likely going to change.” No really, that’s what his office claims. Like they have a mandate or something.

I’ve never been so disgusted in a local politician or his staff.

View the post here.

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Insurance Company Reimbursement Discrepancies

The Mayo Clinic has brought to light the discrepancies in insurance company reimbursement rates. As difficult a discussion as this is, it is important, and I applaud Mayo for its bravery. As Tice mentioned, the insurance companies have become “inconsistent and inefficient” in their financing systems. Companies such as Medica reimburse mental health professionals, such as myself, at a lower rate than does Medicare. They also reimburse at 50 percent lower rates than do other major carriers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners and Preferred One. Medica is one company that does not keep pace with industry standards. It has not raised reimbursement rates for psychology in at least 14 years. Inflation has increased; costs for a loaf of bread have increased, and the profit for Medica has increased, but not the payout to providers. That is what Mayo Clinic is bringing to light. We of course want to continue to service all clients, but we also need to hold insurance companies and their executives accountable. Bravo, Mayo!

Kerry Anderson, Plymouth
StarTribune, April 2, 2017

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Two Bad Paulsen Votes

On Tuesday, my representative, Erik Paulsen, made two votes that appear to be a massive contradiction. As a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he voted against the release of President Trump’s taxes. That’s the second time he’s done so in committee and the fourth overall. His office has explained to me that he votes this way because he does not believe that individuals should be compelled to release their taxes and that he feels the president should do so voluntarily. It’s a matter of personal privacy, and the government shouldn’t violate that.

But then that very day, only a short time later, Rep. Paulsen (Reps. Lewis and Emmer) voted to allow internet service providers to collect and sell data on an individual’s online search and browsing history.

Why does my representative care so much for President Trump’s privacy and so little for yours and mine?

I couldn’t say if it’s the $50,500 in donations he’s received from telecom companies. In fact, I called staffers in both his D.C. and Minnesota offices just hours before the vote, and they didn’t know Paulsen’s position on the second vote, nor could they direct me to anyone who did.

So if Paulsen’s own staff members don’t know what’s driving his votes, how can I?

Rob Wilcox, Eden Prairie
Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 30, 2017

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