Yesterday, the University of Minnesota and the State Health Access Data Assistance Center released a new study showing that between 2013 and 2104, 38,000 Minnesota children gained access to health care. This is great news for our state, and further evidence that health reforms are helping expand access to health care for tens of thousands of Minnesota families.
That’s a pretty amazing number in and of itself, but there’s more to know:
44 percent – The number of uninsured children in Minnesota (ages 0 to 18) dropped by 44 percent in a single year.
38,000 – Because of health reform, 38,000 Minnesota children gained access to quality health care coverage last year alone.
8th – According to the study, Minnesota now has the 8th-lowest children’s uninsured rate in the nation.
Narrowing Health Disparities – The greatest gains in health insurance were among low-income kids, and children of color, according to the study.
48,000 – Despite this important progress, 48,000 Minnesota kids are still uninsured.
40 percent – Last year, another University of Minnesota study showed that the Affordable Care Act had reduced Minnesota’s overall uninsured rate (children, as well as adults) by more than 40 percent in just one year.
Affordable Care Act Helping
“This drop from 2013 to 2014 is really historic,” said Elizabeth Lukanen, a public health researcher at the U. “We feel pretty confident that we can attribute these gains to the Affordable Care Act.”(more…)
Despite a Supreme Court stay on EPA rules, Minnesota says it will develop plans to limit carbon and pursue energy initiatives
The following article by Jim Spencer appears in the February 11, 2016 edition of the StarTribune:
Minnesota will push ahead with plans to develop cleaner power sources despite a U.S. Supreme Court order that has temporarily delayed a national clean power plan.
Still in question is how much guidance state officials can expect from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the justices stepped in Tuesday to stop implementation of the Obama administration’s attempt to address climate change with new limits on carbon emissions. The high court did not rule on the merits of the plan, but did stop application until the legality of the clean power requirements can be argued by the federal government and states and businesses opposed to them.
“While the Court’s temporary stay is disappointing, it does nothing to diminish our resolve in Minnesota to keep moving forward on clean energy initiatives, including the development of our state’s Clean Power Plan,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement Wednesday. “We shouldn’t need a federal edict to understand how vital it is that we keep doing everything in our collective powers to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and advance Minnesota’s clean energy economy.”(more…)
224 days before people can begin to vote by no excuse absentee ballot, Sept. 23
269 days until Election Day, Nov. 8
8:30 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Smith will provide remarks at the Department of Agriculture – Pollinator Summit. Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E, St. Paul.
1 p.m. – U.S. Sen. Al Franken is discussing paid sick leave with business owners that support those benefits at Birchwood Cafe, 3311 25th St. E., Minneapolis.
4 p.m. – Bernie Sanders will appear at a rally sponsored by Neighbors Organizing for Change at 4 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis.
4:30 p.m. – The Anti-War Committee will picket at the 5th Annual Humphrey-Mondale Dinner to “send an antiwar message to Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.”
5 p.m. – The Minnesota DFL hosts the 5th Annual Humphrey-Mondale Dinner at the St. Paul RiverCentre with special guests Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
On the campaign trail – Most of the field is in South Carolina.In Greenville, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson attend the Faith and Family Presidential Forum, hosted by the Palmetto Family Alliance and the Conservative Leadership Project. Here’s the rundown for the other South Carolina stops:
Clinton: Denmark (before going to Minnesota)
Kasich: Columbia, Orangeburg, Bluffton
Sanders is in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Trump is in Tampa
8 p.m. – The Republican candidates for president debate in South Carolina on CBS.
Mark your calendars
Feb. 18 – Vice President Joe Biden visits the St. Paul Depot.
Feb. 21 – The DFL Disabilities Caucus will hold a membership meeting at Rondo Library, University and Dale, St. Paul from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, in the Youth Library Room. The Caucus will pass political resolutions, elect a Secretary, and discuss the Compassionate Care bill to be introduced in the MN Legislature this year. (more…)
As the March 1 precinct caucuses nears, you will likely be inundated with advertisements supporting or opposing the various candidates for President of the United States. This is just the beginning of the onslaught of mail pieces either praising or denouncing the presidential, congressional and state legislative candidates. While the literature will certainly mention candidates by name, we may never know who actually paid for them.
Since the 2010 Citizens United decision came down from the U.S. Supreme Court – which enabled corporations to spend limitless amounts of money on political advocacy – Minnesotans have been flooded by untold sums of outside spending in campaigns. The sources of this money funneled into Super PACs have been able to evade disclosure and scrutiny. (more…)
Last Friday, Feb. 5 former Coon Rapids Senator Leo T. Foley passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones; he was 87. Sen. Foley served the Coon Rapids area for 14 years, serving from 1997 to 2011. I took up the mantle of serving the area following Sen. Foley’s retirement.
I first met Leo in 2002, and ever since then I was incredibly proud to call him my State Senator. Leo Foley lived a life of service, first for 33 years as a Minnesota State Trooper, and later as an assistant Anoka County Attorney and as a senator. I really appreciated and admired his work and his passion for the community. Leo always had an ear to listen, and you could sense he really cared about improving the lives of those he represented. He will be missed by all who knew him. (more…)
225 days before people can begin to vote by no excuse absentee ballot, Sept. 23
270 days until Election Day, Nov. 8
8 a.m. – The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council meets. Room 5, State Office Building.
9:15 a.m. – The Medical Forensic Exam Access Project led by the Sexual Violence Justice Institute at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) will hold a press conference to release a report funded by the Office of Justice Programs at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety that reveals geographic disparities in the access, quality, and payment of sexual assault exams across Minnesota. There are significant issues including whether or not a victim can get access to an exam, lack of training and resources to conduct exams, and victims receiving bills for their exam, among many others. Victims in Greater Minnesota tend to face bigger barriers to accessing a quality exam than those in the metro area. (more…)