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“Get the Feds Out of My Life!  But Dang It, Hands Off My Medicare!”

Stanford University’s John E. Cogan has been writing brilliantly for decades about how federal entitlement spending has a nasty habit of growing a lot bigger and a lot faster than advocates originally predict.  He continued this theme the other day (Wall Street Journal, September 5) in arguing against a proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to finance a federal family leave program by requiring recipients to forgo their first three to six months of Social Security checks years down the road Cogan acknowledged that the proposal is well-intentioned and meant to be a “small, carefully targeted benefit” which would not add...

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Rep. Erik Paulsen’s bid to end Obamacare Medical Device Tax is expected to be signed into law this year

The 2.3 percent tax, which became effective in 2013, already took in $5 billion in three years, before getting suspended. The concern is that the tax will hurt small companies and suppress innovation and startups, with the attendant loss of jobs and economic growth. It is expected to be repealed by the end of 2018. DFL Senators who voted for Obamacare are in favor of repeal....

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Conservative Healthcare Expert Avik Roy Argues for Universal Coverage at U of M

Last Thursday, Avik Roy, activist and co-founder of Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, came to the University of Minnesota to discuss the state of healthcare in the United States. He started by talking about the current problems with our healthcare system and transitioned to his proposal for how we can save money while giving more people high quality healthcare. He also clarified how universal coverage is different than single payer and would in fact rely on free market principles. You can read his full report right here. His presentation was followed by a discussion with a bipartisan panel of...

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Finally Cleaning House at the Vets Administration

Our veterans deserve better than the too often scandalous health care offered by the Veterans Administration. It's an issue both Democrats and Republicans agree on. Former Army paratrooper John McGlothin notes in the Washington Examiner the mission to reform the agency is long overdue. For decades, veterans have traded stories of VA incompetence like they were military-exclusive baseball cards. We were told to wait for months for medical appointments, and resolving other problems was nearly impossible. The VA billing office was infamous for almost never picking up the phone, even after veterans spent hours on hold. Yet calling was your only option, as...

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What if health care was more like the auto insurance market?

In a recent Star Tribune letter, Dr. John Dryer of Maple Grove tried to argue against free-market health care reform but he unwittingly illustrated one of the main problems with the American health care system. Dryer was responding to a previous Start Tribune letter by Kyle Christensen that opposed state mandates and argued that “the best way to help individuals buy health insurance is to reduce the cost of it.”  Dryer’s response was that taking his point “to its logical conclusion, the state should drop the requirement that car drivers carry insurance.” Car insurance is relatively affordable because the power of competition...

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Big Tax Cuts Likely for 80,000 Minnesotans Charged Obamacare Penalty

One of the most significant provisions of the Senate tax cuts got lost in the media frenzy immediately following passage. On the way to approving the most comprehensive tax reform since Reagan, the Senate also voted to kill Obamacare's individual mandate. And it doesn't exactly fit the liberals' narrative of tax breaks for the rich. The repeal amounts to a major tax cut in itself for millions of Americans. The beneficiaries of getting to keep their own money include nearly 82,000 Minnesotans who paid the federal government $35 million under the penalty for 2015. The tax hits middle and lower income Americans hardest...

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Franken, Durenberger take partisan jabs in call for bipartisan health care bill

In a commentary published in the Star Tribune, former Sen. Dave Durenberger and Sen. Al Franken urge Congress to pass a bipartisan health care bill sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray. It's hard to take their call for bipartisanship seriously when they themselves level unfair partisan jabs at Republicans and President Trump. Instead of discussing partisanship from both sides, they lay blame only on Republicans who,"ever since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, ...

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It is pledge time at MPR: Why I am not a member of NPR/MPR (again this year)

Why are taxpayers forced to pay for government radio? Here is one example, of many, why taxpayer funding should be declared unconstitutional. This exchange about Obamacare was not reporting; it was commentary parading as reporting. And the pampered intelligentsia at NPR are so convinced of their righteousness, so lost in the beltway, that they could not hide their hysteria or breathless opposition to any rollback of Obamacare. ...

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Attorney General Swanson Sues to Force Trump Administration to Break the Law

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota's Attorney General, Lori Swanson, will join several other states in suing to try to force the Trump administration to resume making "cost-sharing reduction" payments to health insurance companies. Trump announced yesterday that such payments would cease. Completely absent from the Strib's reporting is the reason why the Trump administration is suspending CSR payments: they are illegal, because Congress has not appropriated money to fund them. In fact, a federal court has already ruled that the CSR payments that were made by the Obama administration were unconstitutional. Last May, in U.S. House of Representatives v. Burwell,...

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Trump signs executive order to begin replacing Obamacare with better health care choices

After repeated efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare in Congress, President Trump signed an executive order today directing federal agencies to take specific steps to give Americans more and better health care choices. In just three short years, Obamacare has severely damaged health insurance markets across the country, leaving some markets on the brink of total collapse. Going into 2018, consumers will have access to just one health carrier in nearly half of the counties across America.  In many cases, this sole health carrier does not include local doctors in its network, forcing people to switch doctors and drive long distances...

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