Health Care

Nurse staffing bill is gutted in final hours of Minnesota’s legislative session

BY: - May 22, 2023

A nurse staffing bill that passed the House and the Senate just weeks ago was gutted in the final hours of the 2023 legislative session when some senators withdrew their support because of an exemption for Mayo Clinic. Gov. Tim Walz pressured legislators to carve out Mayo Clinic after the hospital threatened to move billions […]

Mayo Clinic exemption leads Minnesota lawmakers to rethink nurse staffing bill

BY: - May 22, 2023

A nurse staffing bill that seemed destined to become law just less than three weeks ago, is now in jeopardy in the final hours of session. The Minnesota Senate on Monday afternoon was trying to hammer out a last-minute compromise on a bill that aims to increase nurse staffing levels. The bill, which has faced […]

Minnesota to legalize possession of drug paraphernalia, even if it has residue

BY: - May 22, 2023

Minnesota lawmakers passed a mammoth public safety budget bill that included  little-noticed provisions that will legalize possession of drug paraphernalia and any drug residue that might be in it.

Bill that could doom Fairview-Sanford merger heads to Walz’s desk; Fairview, Sanford undeterred

BY: - May 21, 2023

The Minnesota Legislature on Sunday passed a bill that bans anti-competitive health care mergers, which could kill the proposed marriage of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health.  The bill also prohibits out-of-state entities from owning in whole or part University of Minnesota health care entities, as would be the case were Sanford […]

Minnesota to allow all undocumented residents to enroll in MinnesotaCare

BY: - May 20, 2023

Undocumented residents in Minnesota will be eligible to enroll in the state’s publicly subsidized insurance program for low-income people, known as MinnesotaCare, under a budget agreement released on Friday night. The proposal, which is expected to become law, will expand public health insurance access to the more than 40,000 undocumented people estimated to live in […]

Mayo Clinic wins full exemption from nurse staffing bill in agreement with state leaders

BY: - May 18, 2023

State lawmakers say they will exempt Mayo Clinic from a bill aimed at increasing nurse staffing levels, ending a two-week standoff that began when the hospital sent an email to the governor’s office threatening to move billions of dollars in future investments out of state if the bill was not gutted. All of Mayo Clinic’s […]

The U.S. is undergoing its worst bird flu outbreak ever. Is a poultry vaccine the answer?

BY: - May 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — The deadliest outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history is prompting growing concern in Congress, and Department of Agriculture researchers are awaiting the preliminary results of four trials of vaccines for poultry. Some lawmakers are warming to the idea of a vaccination campaign, long considered a fringe idea due to the cost and […]

As the COVID public health emergency ends, prepping for a new pandemic is next

BY: - May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — After more than three years and 1.1 million deaths, the United States on Thursday will end the public health emergency for COVID-19 — and Congress is attempting to better prepare for a possible resurgence of that virus or another. The expiration of the designation, originally put in place in January 2020, means alterations […]

Health experts urge FDA to approve over-the-counter birth control in unanimous vote

BY: - May 10, 2023

Dyvia Huitron started having sex when she was 16. Worried about getting pregnant, she talked to her parents about getting on hormonal birth control. Instead, they grounded her. The now-19-year-old had expected pushback – she was living in a religious community in conservative McAllen, Texas. But she underestimated how many years it would eventually take […]

Minnesota House passes bill that could doom Sanford-Fairview merger

BY: - May 8, 2023

The Minnesota House on Monday passed a bill that bans anti-competitive health care mergers, which could kill the proposed marriage of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health. The proposed merger has received criticism from legislative Democrats, who say that it would create a health care monopoly in greater Minnesota and likely lead […]

As red states pass new abortion restrictions, Minnesota looks to shed them all

BY: - May 8, 2023

Progressive Democrats, fresh off a surprising midterm election victory, had a plan this year to make Minnesota an abortion refuge of the Upper Midwest, writing abortion rights into law and removing all restrictions on the books. They quickly succeeded in codifying the right to abortion and enacting a shield law to protect women who travel […]

A bitter battle over the ‘orphan drug’ program leaves patients’ pocketbooks at risk

BY: - May 2, 2023

A prescription drug that helps Lore Wilkinson walk and talk despite a rare muscle disease cost her so little for more than a decade that she didn’t even use her insurance to pay for it. But now, her Medicare insurance is shelling out about $40,000 for a one-month supply of the drug, and she fears […]