February 25, 2011 — It's no secret the Republicans think President Obama is vulnerable in next year's election. They think he overreached on the healthcare overhaul, the economy is still sluggish and they're confident voters agree with them that the federal government spends too much. A lot of possible contenders are acting like candidates, including former Governor Tim Pawlenty and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. But so far, no high profile Republicans have announced they're running, and some analysts say the party is having an unusually difficult time getting behind a candidate. Mark Zdechlik reports.
February 11, 2011 — Learning you have breast cancer is never easy, but for members of the deaf community, the diagnosis can be particularly isolating. Now a group of Minnesota film makers are trying to change that with a documentary called "Signing On." The film will be previewed this weekend in St. Paul, but Euan Kerr reports the film is already attracting attention internationally in the deaf community.
February 8, 2011 — Tim Pawlenty has been touting the success of Minnesota's home-grown health reforms during his national book tour as he prepares for possible run for the presidency. The former Republican governor says the state has designed a good blueprint for reining-in costs, that the rest of the nation should follow. While it's true that Minnesota has been experimenting with new ways of paying for care, some health care observers believe it's a stretch to say that Minnesota's experiments have had much of an effect on costs at this point. We picked out two of Pawlenty's Minnesota reform claims and examined them.
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.
October 9, 2010 — Gov. Tim Pawlenty repeated his opposition Friday to so-called "insurance exchanges," a key piece of health care reform. He said exchanges amount to government interfering with the free market. That's a reversal from 2007, when Pawlenty proposed his own insurance exchange program for Minnesota businesses. Pawlenty says his opposition to exchanges is the reason he declined to send the US Government a state response to questions about exchanges. Three prominent Minnesota health groups secured a copy of the response and sent it anyway. Former GOP senator Dave Durenberger, a health policy expert, says their move was understandable. Pawlenty says a 2008 state analysis of exchanges found they'd be ineffective at reining in costs.