Erik Paulsen takes "Ice Bucket Challenge" for ALS research after voting to cut ALS research

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Screengrab via New York Daily News
Paulsen helped raise money for ALS research as a private citizen, but not as a congressman.
Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen, along with 15 of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, has been singled out by the Huffington Post for taking the "Ice Bucket Challenge" this summer to raise money for ALS research despite voting to cut government funding for that same sort of research back in 2011.

Sure, that sounds hypocritical on its face, but it's not necessarily so simple. The bill Paulsen supported that cut ALS funding -- the Budget Control Act of 2011 -- cut a number of federal agencies' budgets by 5 percent, including the National Institute of Health. In other words, it took a cleaver to spending, not a scalpel.

See also:
Sheila Kihne occupies Erik Paulsen's office after he says he wants to end shutdown


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Seward Co-op dumps some products made by anti-birth control Eden Foods, cites poor sales

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Co-ops and groceries might not be boycotting Eden, but at Seward, a critical mass of customers are.
As local co-ops and groceries take heat for not dumping products made by Eden Foods, a Catholic-owned company under fire for refusing to provide birth control to its employees on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, the response from places like Mississippi Market and the Seward Co-op has been largely the same -- they won't boycott, but urge customers to vote with their dollars.

Some are apparently doing just that at the Seward Co-op, and in response, management announced earlier this week that they've already stopped selling some Eden products.

See also:
Abortions at record low in MN thanks to health care access, contraceptive mandate, NARAL says


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Mississippi Market's rationale for not dumping Eden Foods is similar to Seward Co-op's [UPDATE]

Categories: Food, Health Care
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Courtesy of Todd Kolod
Kolod (pictured) says Mississippi Market only carries a few Eden Foods products, but even one is too many for him.
-- Update, including comments from Mississippi Market, at bottom --

Earlier this week, we shared the Seward Co-op's reasons for continuing to sell products made by Eden Foods, a Michigan-based company with Catholic ownership that's under fire for refusing to provide birth control to its employees on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.

As you'd probably expect, the rationale invoked by at least one other Twin Cities co-op that continues to sell Eden products is largely similar. More specifically, consider how Liz McMann, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op's consumer affairs manager, responded to Todd Kolod (pictured at top of this post) when Kolod wrote her expressing his concerns about the co-op's decision not to dump Eden.

See also:
Male birth control pill, Gamendazole, being developed at University of Minnesota


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DFL bill would nullify Hobby Lobby ruling in MN, force employers to offer contraception

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Rep. Erin Murphy
During a news conference yesterday, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy (D-St. Paul), introduced a bill that would essentially nullify the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling in Minnesota and force employers to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees.

Reached for comment later in the day, Murphy told us, "The goal is to make sure that women have access to affordable contraception in their employer-based coverage, similar to what the law was under the Affordable Care Act before the Hobby Lobby decision."

See also:
Minnesota's own Hobby Lobby: MN businesses gain from SCOTUS ruling


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Local co-ops take heat for selling products from anti-birth control company Eden Foods

Categories: Food, Health Care
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Boycott Eden Foods on Facebook
A man identified as Todd Kolod protests outside St. Paul's Whole Foods and Mississippi Market.
:::: UPDATE :::: Mississippi Market's rationale for not dumping Eden Foods is similar to Seward Co-op's

On Friday, Steven Miles, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota who we've previously written about because of his work on U.S. abuses in Iraqi prisons (among other issues), sent us correspondence he recently had with the the Seward Co-op regarding its decision to continue selling products from Eden Foods, a company with Catholic ownership that won't provide birth control to its employees in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.

In an email to the co-op, Miles wrote, "Eden Organic Foods (with Hobby Lobby) is not providing insurance for contraceptives to women employees. I do not believe they should be stocked by any co-op and that they should be told of this decision."

See also:
Minnesota's own Hobby Lobby: MN businesses gain from SCOTUS ruling


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Minnesota will soon be running low on doctors, study finds

Categories: Health Care

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Morgan

As more and more people start heading to the doctor, Minnesota could soon run out of enough professionals to take care of them, a new study finds.

The study, by the Minnesota Hospital Association and the professional services company Towers Watson, found that as soon as a decade from now, the state won't have enough primary care doctors to handle the people who need their help. The study largely attributes the problem to the fact that there simply don't seem to be enough graduates to keep up with the retirement of older doctors. But when it comes to Minnesota's doctor shortage, that's only the tip of the iceberg.

See also:
Abortions at record low in MN thanks to health care access, contraceptive mandate, NARAL says.


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Home health care company Univita shifting headquarters from Minnesota to Florida

Categories: Health Care

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Photo via Businesswire

Minnesota-based home health care management provider Univita Health is moving its headquarters in Eden Prairie to a new home in Florida.

The move, which was first reported by the South Florida Business Journal, comes only a few weeks after the Fridley-based medical device giant Medtronic announcing that it was shifting its headquarters overseas, to Ireland, as part of its purchase of Covidien.

See also:
Medical biz prof Stephen Parente on Medtronic move: 'It's kinda hard to see this occur.'


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Abortions at record low in MN thanks to health care access, contraceptive mandate, NARAL says

Categories: Health Care, Sex
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Photos via Fibonacci Blue and S. MiRK
Planned Parenthood performed 4,370 abortions in Minnesota last year, the most of any organization.
The number of abortions performed in Minnesota last year was the lowest since the state began collecting data on the procedures in 1975.

There were 9,903 abortions performed in the state in 2013. That's down from 10,700 in 2012 and represents the first time on record the number has fallen below 10,000.

See also:
Bachmann worries women's museum honoring her will become "shrine to abortion"


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Minnesota's own Hobby Lobby: MN businesses gain from SCOTUS ruling

Categories: Health Care

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epSos via Flickr

Advocates of religious liberty have been celebrating across the country since Monday's Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius case, which will allow certain family owned or "closely held" businesses to be exempt from the contraceptive mandate under Obamacare, for religious reasons.

But Hobby Lobby isn't the only business that's complained about the ruling in court. According to a June 30th article from the Daily Beast, at least 82 companies have filed similar cases across the country, and with Hobby Lobby getting a religious exemption, those companies most likely will, too.

See also:
Franken, DFL, NARAL blast Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling; Bachmann approves


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Franken, DFL, NARAL blast Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling; Bachmann approves

Categories: Health Care
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Franken is disappointed, Bachmann encouraged by the court's ruling.
Yesterday, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled family-owned for-profit businesses like Hobby Lobby cannot be required to provide contraceptive products to employees that don't accord with the owner's religious beliefs.

As we've covered, the owners at least three Minnesota companies -- Annex Medical, Skin Care Doctors, and the American Manufacturing Company -- have gone as far as to threaten they'll close if forced to pay for their employees' contraception. It looks like they'll no longer need to worry about shutting the doors, though their female employees will likely have to pay out of pocket for emergency contraception and intrauterine devices.

See also:
Male birth control pill, Gamendazole, being developed at University of Minnesota


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