Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Health care was a top issue during the 2018 campaign and Minnesota lawmakers have wasted no time detailing their ideas for improving the system by making it more affordable and accessible. The challenge is Republicans and Democrats have vastly different ideas on the best ways to accomplish those goals. Members of the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 16, pitched the idea that patients with better relationships with their doctors and a clearer understanding of the price of procedures and drugs would lower overall health care costs.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers spent the first two days of the new legislative session detailing their top priorities, but there’s a lot of other things they also want to do. During short floor sessions in the House and Senate on Thursday, Jan. 10, lawmakers introduced a total 122 bills. The first 10 in the House and the first five in the Senate encompass what Republicans and Democrats say are the most pressing needs facing the state.
ST. PAUL — After six years of the state-run insurance marketplace MNsure, are Minnesotans ready for more or less government involvement in their health care? MNsure just passed its first enrollment deadline on Saturday, Dec. 15, and for the second year in a row, rates are declining, access has been largely maintained and enrollments remain steady. “I would call it very successful for us,” Nate Clark, MNsure CEO, said of the current signup season that runs until in mid-January and so far is outpacing last year.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Republicans had high hopes this would be the year they would break the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s grip on the state’s constitutional offices. An open race for attorney general seemed like their best bet. But Democratic candidate Congressman Keith Ellison was poised to disappoint them, according to election results late Tuesday, Nov. 6.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Democratic candidates have a cash advantage heading into the final days of the 2018 campaign, but outside groups are spending heavily against them in federal races. There’s less than a week to go until Election Day and this is the last look voters will get at who is funding political campaigns before they cast their ballots. Federal spending reports were due last week and state campaign finance reports were due Monday and released publicly Tuesday, Oct. 30.
ST. PAUL — Union workers, business leaders and political activists all do it — pool money to influence votes. In what's shaping up to be the most closely watched election in recent memory, the majority of campaign spending likely won't come from the candidates seeking office or their political parties, but from outside special-interests groups.
ST. PAUL — The opioid crisis has gotten so bad that some employers are struggling to find sober workers. "The drug-testing challenge is a significant one for hiring," said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, an organization of 120 CEOs from companies that employ about 400,000 Minnesotans. Weaver and the state Department of Health announced a partnership Tuesday, Sept. 18, to create an opioid toolkit for employers to help workers struggling with addiction.
ST. PAUL — New data from the U.S. Census Bureau contain good news for Minnesota workers, especially those in black and Hispanic households. Median earnings for black households rose for the third consecutive year in 2017, beginning to remedy one of the state's most troubling racial disparities. The median income for black households was $38,147 last year, the census bureau reported, up from $27,985 in 2014, when inflation is taken into account.
ST. PAUL — The number of Minnesotans without health insurance climbed by 17,563 last year, driving up the uninsured rate to 4.4 percent, but the state continues to have one of the best rates of overall medical coverage in the nation. Altogether, 242,509 Minnesotans lacked health insurance in 2017, with black and Hispanic residents having the largest uninsured rates at 17 percent, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
ST. PAUL -- The race to be Minnesota’s next governor has already cost more than $3.5 million and the five top candidates in the running have plenty of cash to spend before the Aug. 14 primary. The two Republicans and three Democrats hoping to make it to the November election have raised nearly $5 million this year, according to pre-primary campaign finance reports.