January 27, 2011 — The leaders of seven large Minnesota health plans and hospital groups are floating a plan that would cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's Medicaid benefits, while boosting health care revenues from additional taxes on alcohol, tobacco and providers. The organizations say their idea could eliminate nearly a third of the state's $6.2 billion dollar budget shortfall. The proposal, called Minnesota's Healthcare Imperative, is already drawing fire from groups who would be affected by the suggested cuts and increased taxes. Lorna Benson reports.
January 26, 2011 — Excerpts of the Tea Party's response to President Obama's State of the Union address last night (Tuesday). Minnesota's 6th District Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, delivered her remarks on behalf of the Tea Party after the Republican Party's official response, delivered by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. Obama's policies and actions on taxes, the unemployment rate, gas prices and healthcare are mentioned.
January 26, 2011 — President Barack Obama appeared to give a nod to supporters of tort reform last night (Tuesday) during his State of the Union address. Even while defending his health care law, the President said he'd be open to "medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits." In the past Obama has shown some interest in reforming state medical malpractice laws but has stopped short of supporting federal caps on damage awards. But that is what Republicans want. Elizabeth Stawicki reports: Just this week, two Republicans and one Democrat in the US House Judiciary committee introduced what they're calling the HEALTH ACT -- the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare Act of 2011.
December 23, 2010 — Barack Obama signed a landmark healthcare overhaul into law back in March, but throughout the year the measure didn't appear to win the hearts and minds of Americans. Republicans seized on discomfort with the reforms to make significant gains in November's mid-term elections, and many of the Congressional winners have promised to push for repeal. A number of states are also fighting the law in courts. We discuss the reform, and the likelihood it will remain the law of the land. Guest: Dave Durenberger, former U.S. Senator.
November 24, 2010 — It's been an interesting year for health stories. A huge healthcare reform bill passed Congress... but the debate after the fact seemed to raise more rancor than the discussion leading in. An earthquake kills hundreds of thousands in Haiti... followed by a deadly outbreak of cholera. In the meantime, America's epidemic of obesity has spread to other nations across the globe. But, even with all those challenges and uncertainties, medical analyst Dr. Hallberg says there is still reason to be hopeful when it comes to health and wellness at this customary time of thanksgiving.
November 18, 2010 — Early next year the first baby boomers turn 65. The aging boomers are expected to strain healthcare resources for the next 20 years. One of the most urgent concerns is a looming shortage of nurses to care for the elderly. Ten nursing schools in west central Minnesota want to focus more attention on the nursing shortage. Dan Gunderson reports.
April 27, 2010 — The 21st Annual International Arts in Healthcare conference is happening now. It's entitled "Partners in Health", and it runs through Saturday at the Hilton Minneapolis.
December 22, 2009 — Medical experts call diabetes a growing epidemic. About one in three people will get the disease. About twenty-four million people already have it. Many people can prevent diabetes with simple lifestyle changes. But Medicare and most private insurance programs don't pay for prevention efforts. Rupa Shenoy reports that gap could be plugged by legislation included in the healthcare reform bill working it's way through the US Senate.
December 3, 2009 — Archbishop John Neinstedt of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese supports that letter to Senators, but he's also careful to say he does support healthcare reform. In fact he's called it "one of the most important issues of our lifetime." In a telephone interview earlier today, I asked Archbishop Neinstedt about his approach to the health care dilema.
October 16, 2009 — Thirty-three thousand of the poorest Minnesotans may lose state health coverage sooner than expected. Earlier this year, Governor Tim Pawlenty cut the General Assistance Medical Care program, which provides coverage for adults without dependents who don't qualify for other healthcare assistance. The program was originally projected to end in March. But now estimates show funding may not last that long. Rupa Shenoy reports that has advocates scrambling to find another option.