Health Care

White Earth votes in favor of producing and distributing medical marijuana

BY: - August 19, 2020

White Earth citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum on Tuesday asking if the tribe should begin growing, regulating and distributing medical marijuana on the reservation. “It’s exciting,” White Earth Chairman Michael Fairbanks said. “The membership has spoken and it’s overwhelming.” Nearly nine in 10 voters approved of the referendum, making the White Earth […]

A different messenger: Ramsey County relies on culturally competent voices — instead of government — to deliver COVID-19 info

BY: - August 10, 2020

Black and Latino Minnesotans are facing disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death, which has highlighted a complex public health problem: Distrust of the health care system. State, county and other public health officials are experimenting with new ways to break down barriers of mistrust built up over centuries.  Ramsey County, for instance, created […]

COMMENTARY

HealthPartners: Now is no time to close Riverside Clinic

BY: and - July 29, 2020

As we continue to struggle with a global pandemic, less than two months after the George Floyd police killing and subsequent protests that rocked our city, HealthPartners announced earlier this month that they would be closing seven healthcare facilities across the state.  While all of these closures are hard to hear about, we want to […]

Tiny house village inside old Kmart could shelter 200 people

BY: - July 15, 2020

A group of housing advocates is proposing a tiny house village for nearly 200 people experiencing homelessness as a safer alternative to tent encampments. The plans put the entire community indoors — in a warehouse or empty big box store like the shuttered Kmart in Minneapolis — to provide a low-cost, climate controlled environment during […]

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 […]

COMMENTARY

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 […]

COMMENTARY
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 […]