Health Care

Lessons for Minnesota? Houston emergency rooms being overrun with COVID-19 patients

BY: and - July 14, 2020

HOUSTON — Houston hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of COVID-19 patients in their emergency rooms — sometimes for several hours or multiple days — as they scramble to open additional intensive care beds for the wave of seriously ill people streaming through their doors, according to internal numbers shared with NBC News and […]

Walz blasts big pharma for suing state, says they’re as bad as big tobacco

BY: - July 1, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz, legislators and activists on Wednesday heralded the start of a new insulin affordability law while blasting a last-minute legal challenge by pharmaceutical companies to permanently block the law.  The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act was named for the 26-year-old Minnesota man who died three years ago after rationing his insulin, like many […]

Hennepin County Board takes up racism as a public health crisis

BY: - June 24, 2020

A panel of the Hennepin County Board voted Tuesday to declare racism a public health crisis, despite the objections of two commissioners who wanted more time to examine it. About a dozen other county boards nationwide have passed similar resolutions in the wake of  George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Hennepin […]


As the pandemic marches on, so does the Trump administration’s war on Obamacare

BY: - June 16, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues in Minnesota and across the country, the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers are still working to take accessible health care coverage from over 20 million Americans, including 265,000 Minnesotans. Recently, Attorney General Keith Ellison, other Democratic attorneys general, and the U.S. House filed their opening briefs to the Supreme Court […]

Baby gets medicine

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that public health spending is a smart investment

BY: - May 27, 2020

As a country we have woefully underinvested in public health. This was true in 1960 and it is true today. We spend 0.45% of gross domestic product on public health, or $93 billion. We spend more than nine times that amount on national defense, 4% of GDP — $850 billion.  Instead of investing additional money […]

Minnesota will be recovering from COVID-19 for years

BY: , , and - May 15, 2020

It seems like this has been going on forever. On March 6, I wrote the following in our newsletter, Daily Reformer:  With Super Tuesday over we turn our attention to the most important event happening in American politics: COVID-19. The reason I say that is because of its economic effects, which are already massive, and […]

Gov. Walz says order allowing elective surgeries to resume coming this week

BY: - May 4, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz says he will issue an executive order in the coming days allowing hospitals to resume elective surgeries, which have been suspended since March to keep beds and personal protective equipment (PPE) available for people infected with COVID-19. “We’ll probably have an announcement in the next day or so (for) elective surgeries to […]

Most vulnerable leave homeless shelters just as COVID-19 arrives

BY: - April 20, 2020

Three weeks ago, Barbara Williams moved out of a shelter in Minneapolis — where 15 women sleep on bunk beds in a large, open room —  and into a hotel suite with its own bathroom, queen-sized bed and TV. Even though it’s an upgrade, Williams was worried about being socially isolated. “I didn’t want to […]


Home health aides and personal care attendants are on the front lines

BY: - April 14, 2020

When I was younger, my sister used to tell me, “Nora, you’re the kind of person who tries to make life easier for everyone else.” That is true, and it is why I’ve loved my job as a home care worker for over 15 years. There are tens of thousands of us across the state, […]

St. Louis Park health care worker: “We don’t have any tests”

BY: - March 30, 2020

Brianne Bernini, an emergency department technician at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park was told when she arrived at work last Thursday that she’d get one face shield to use for her entire six-hour shift. A few hours later, she and her co-workers were informed they’d have to keep their masks safe because […]

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any night in 2018, report says

BY: - March 26, 2020

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any given night in 2018, according to a new study released Wednesday. The estimate comes from Wilder Research’s most recent one-day study of homelessness in Minnesota, conducted in 2018. The nonprofit research group counted 10,233 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in October that year, up 10% from […]

Gov. Walz orders schools temporarily closed to curb COVID-19 outbreak

BY: - March 15, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Sunday took his most drastic action yet to contain the spread of COVID-19, ordering the temporary closure of Minnesota public schools starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. Walz says school districts should use the time to plan a transition to distance learning for the foreseeable future. “We cannot […]