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.
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.
October 8, 2010 — Gov. Tim Pawlenty is standing by his decision to ignore a federal request for input on a key piece of health care reform. The Department of Health and Human Services had asked states for their recommendations on "insurance exchanges." These are online marketplaces where consumers can compare and buy health plans. Pawlenty opposes health reform. He said today (Friday) exchanges are big government interfering with the free market. But three years ago, Pawlenty advocated a similar idea. Elizabeth Stawicki reports: During his radio show today, Gov. Tim Pawlenty expanded on why he decided against sending in a Minnesota health department report about health insurance exchanges. He said the best insurance exchange is the free market:
March 10, 2010 — Later today the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee will discuss a bill that would tighten the rules on copper-nickel mines. The question has taken on some urgency, as a half-dozen companies are now making plans to open such mines in northeastern Minnesota. Stephanie Hemphill reports.
October 23, 2009 — Plans are moving ahead for a copper-nickel mine in Northeastern Minnesota. The draft of an environmental review of the project is expected today (FRI). So-called sulfide mining has never been done in Minnesota, but in other parts of the world, similar mines are polluting rivers and lakes. Stephanie Hemphill reports on the mine and its possible impacts.
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.
September 9, 2009 — Tonight at 7:00, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress about his health care reform proposal. Obama is promising to offer more details about his vision for overhauling the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system. Minnesota Public Radio News will provide live coverage of the address. One of the people who will be in the audience tonight in Washington is Jeffrey Korsmo, the Executive Director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center. He was invited to attend the speech by DFL Congressman Tim Walz. Korsmo says he's eager to hear more about Obama's plan. That is Jeffrey Korsmo, Executive Director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center. He will be in the Capitol tonight when President Obama makes his health care reform speech.
March 4, 2009 — Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing costs for Minnesota government. Governor Tim Pawlenty says it's critical to slow the growth in healthcare spending. He wants to reduce the cost of Minnesota Care, the state-funded insurance program. He's also proposing cuts to medicaid reimbursements. This week, Minnesota Public Radio is exploring the effects of the state budget crisis from the perspective of one community, Fergus Falls. It's the largest city in Otter Tail County. This is the latest installment in our series, "The State Budget in Your Backyard." As Dan Gunderson reports, balancing the state budget could mean big changes for the people covered by Minnesota Care and the hospitals that treat them.
December 29, 2008 — An initiative to make northwestern Minnesota hospitals more efficient is spreading across the state. It's called Lean Health and it uses the same ideas companies like Marvin Windows and Arctic Cat use to streamline assembly line production. Those companies are trying to encourage hospitals to use the same ideas. Minnesota Public Radio's Dan Gunderson visited one hospital where the assembly line efficiency model is working for healthcare.
October 11, 2008 — Special personal finance call-in show after Marketplace Money, after week of dropping stock market and world financial turmoil. Cathy Wurzer hosts and various guests answer questions about the markets and your money. Nate Winner, Financial Planning Assoc. of MN, Darryl Dalheimer, Lutheran Social Services.