MN Public Loses Rights in Health Powers Conference Committee

FIRST RIGHT: The first right to go was the right of the public to testify on the proposed legislation. Rep. Richard Mulder (R-Ivanhoe), chair of the committee and author of the bill (HF 3031), began the third hearing of the Conference Committee by saying public testimony would not be taken. It had not been allowed in the first hearing, but in the second hearing, thanks to the insistence of Rep. Lynda Boudreau (R-Faribault), the public was given permission to testify.

CCHC Testifies to Constitutional Concerns In Minnesota Health Powers Act

The Minnesota Emergency Health Powers Act has faulty reasoning and constitutional concerns according to Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC), a health care policy group which provided testimony in the Senate Health and Family Security Committee today.

CCHC Closed Meeting Provision Attached to Anti-Terrorism Bill

Closed meetings on security and emergency response procedures should not include discussions and decisions about medical procedures that impact the physical bodies of citizens, says Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC). The Civil Law Committee agreed. The amendment proposed by CCHC, and approved by the bill's author, was attached to the Minnesota House anti-terrorism bill (HF 2746).

HHS Unveils 24/7 Plan to Track Patients

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released $1.1 billion and a plan to build government health surveillance systems in every state. The stated goal: to enhance public health infrastructure for bioterrorism preparedness. The plan: government access to everyone's medical record through their hospitals and doctor's offices.

"Freedom's Victory" Not Found in President's Pledge to Public Health Surveillance

Although President Bush stated that "America will lead by defending liberty and justice, because they are right and true and unchanging for all people everywhere," CCHC is concerned about a single sentence of the speech: "Knowledge gained from bioterrorism research will improve public health."

CCHC’s “Tax on Patients” Poster

"No tax should be hidden from the public. Increasing public awareness about the existence and cost of the tax, as well as how few of the dollars have been used for the subsidy program, is key to having a frank discussion on the value of the tax," says Twila Brase, R.N., president of CCHC.

CDC's Model State Emergency Health Powers Act Goes Too Far

To combat bioterrorism, federal health officials have proposed that state legislators give state health officials new powers over citizens. The powers proposed in the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act would be broad and sweeping, forcing citizens to submit to physical examinations, tests, quarantine and vaccinations against their will.

Minnesota Loses Another Health Insurance Option -- World Insurance Drops Out of State citing Regulatory Environment

Another sign that health insurance options for Minnesota consumers are increasingly limited to HMOs has just surfaced in a letter to insurance agents. World Insurance has just notified their Minnesota agents by mail that the company will no longer write insurance in Minnesota.

MN Legislature May Unwittingly Help HMOs Cut Their Financial Obligations for Patient Care

According to Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC), Minnesota legislators want health plans to cut payments to providers if the MinnesotaCare provider tax is repealed. However, in a detailed report published by CCHC last year, CCHC found no evidence that health plan payments to providers between 1993 and 1999 ever included the provider tax.

Provider tax plan ill-advised, says CCHC

Because the HMO tax is passed on directly to small businesses, the business community has pressured the Ventura administration to eliminate this tax burden which has added to the rapidly rising cost of health insurance premiums. As a result of lobbying, the HMO tax was suspended in 1999 and no revenue was collected in 2000.