Health Care

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid and lower prescription drug costs

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices — if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The massive […]

Biden administration plan to cut high drug prices mostly quiet on middlemen

BY: - September 14, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week issued a plan to address high drug prices as part of President Joe Biden’s push to take on anticompetitive practices across the economy. Although it addressed in detail abusive practices by drugmakers, the plan was more superficial about the practices of some of the country’s […]

The latest on full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot

BY: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one that […]

COMMENTARY

‘Unconscionable and appalling’: Doctors on Enbridge Line 3 — Opinion

BY: , and - August 5, 2021

As physicians, our duty is to protect the health of all Minnesotans, now and for the future. As daily witnesses to the importance of clean air, water, and land to human health, we are deeply distressed about the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline currently under construction across our state and through 1855 Treaty […]

University of Minnesota implements mask mandate for fall semester

BY: - August 2, 2021

The University of Minnesota is reinstating its mask mandate weeks before students are set to return to campus, University President Joan Gabel announced Monday. Effective Tuesday, all students, staff, faculty and visitors at the system’s campuses across the state will have to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, according to the announcement. The policy […]

‘It’s not over’: Minnesota health officials push vaccinations as Delta variant spreads

BY: - July 26, 2021

Minnesota health officials on Monday urged people who aren’t yet vaccinated against COVID-19 to get the shot as case counts and hospitalizations rise amid the state’s fourth wave of the pandemic. The state reported 424 new COVID-19 cases Monday, up from fewer than 100 per day in mid-June. More than 150 people were hospitalized with […]

Senate GOP calls for extension of reinsurance after double-digit MNSure rate increases announced

BY: - July 26, 2021

Senate Republicans say they will push for another extension of the reinsurance program following the announcement of preliminary health insurance rate hikes of up to 13.2% for individuals who buy health insurance on their own. The Department of Commerce is reviewing proposed insurance rates that were published Monday. They showed that UCare is seeking a […]

Prevention of drowning — a leading cause of childhood deaths — could get a boost in federal budget

BY: - July 26, 2021

As temperatures soar in much of the country, more Americans are cooling off in swimming pools, lakes, rivers and oceans. Yet, when people flock to the water, drowning deaths spike — particularly in the month of July. Nearly 4,000 people die from drowning in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control […]

Minnesota to receive $50 million in Purdue Pharma settlement

BY: - July 8, 2021

Minnesota will receive more than $50 million from a 15-state settlement agreement from Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, which contributed to an opioid death crisis that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.  If approved, the settlement would total $4.5 billion and require Purdue to release millions of pages of documents that stretch back decades, […]

Nearly $800 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds will shore up health, human services spending

BY: - June 24, 2021

Nearly $800 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars will be spent in the next four years on health and human services under a budget deal struck Thursday by the Minnesota House and Senate.  Altogether, the health and human services spending will grow to just shy of $14 billion in the two-year budget cycle that starts […]

Amid addiction ‘tsunami,’ Legislature must invest now, advocates say

BY: - June 10, 2021

The pandemic set off intertwining social, economic and health crises that have in turn catalyzed a surge in addiction in Minnesota and nationwide, according to addiction experts and early data. A group of advocates gathered at the Capitol Thursday called on the Legislature to make a major investment in treatment and recovery. “We are in […]

Socioeconomic status isn’t linked to worse COVID-19 outcomes, new UMN study finds

BY: - May 19, 2021

People of color tend to experience worse COVID-19 outcomes than white people, regardless of socioeconomic status, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota. The study also found that people who don’t speak English have worse outcomes than English speakers. These findings emphasize the importance of researching how racism and language barriers contribute […]