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.

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


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Mike McFadden doesn't provide health insurance to his campaign staffers

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McFadden
During a May 22 appearance on Detroit Lakes' KDLM radio, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McFadden was asked what lessons from his business career he's taking with him on the campaign trail.

McFadden, who most recently worked as co-CEO of a Minneapolis-based investment bank, replied, "Well, I think I've gained some very, very, very relevant experience. Jake, one, in the business you have to be results-oriented, you have to be people-oriented, you have to know how to motivate. I know what it's like to make a payroll, I know what it's like to provide healthcare for my employees." (emphasis ours)

See also:
McFadden hits back after DFL calls presser "a train wreck you have to see to believe"


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DFL trumpets MNsure as Minnesota now has 2nd-lowest percentage of uninsured residents

Categories: Health Care
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Minnesotans didn't like the Paul Bunyan MNsure ads, but they're getting insured nonetheless.
A new study conducted by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) finds that last fall's MNsure rollout coincided with a dramatic drop in the number of Minnesotans without health insurance.

Between September 30 of last year and May 1, the number of uninsured Minnesotans fell by 180,500, a reduction of 40.6 percent, the study finds. About 264,500 Minnesotans still don't have health coverage, but that's significantly down from 445,000 last fall.

See also:
MNGOP Minority Leader David Hann uses false claim to criticize MNsure [VIDEO]


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Minnesota medical cannabis patients could pay up to $1,000 a month out of pocket

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Will it be cheaper just to get cannabis on the black market? Maybe Governor Dayton was right...
Barring U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for marijuana treatments between now and next summer, Minnesota medical cannabis patients will have to pay entirely out of pocket for their medicine, Manny Munson-Regala, the state employee tasked with overseeing the rollout of the program, tells us.

"Until it's FDA approved [insurance companies] aren't going to pay for anything," Munson-Regala says. "All of these patients are paying out of pocket, and that's a big reason why we want to be sure they get good information about what works and what doesn't, and we have good standards around the composition of the cannabis we're getting."

See also:
Barack Obama disagrees with Sheriff Stanek about the dangers of pot


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Paul Bunyan ads resulted in people disliking MNsure, analysis says

Categories: Health Care
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For whatever reason, Minnesotans didn't like the idea of a bumbling, injured Paul Bunyan.
Some would argue a negative reaction is better than no reaction at all, and that's essentially the line MNsure officials are taking in response to a startlingly negative analysis of the health exchange's controversial $1.5 million Paul Bunyan ad campaign.

The Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox ads ran from last August through early this year. They could be seen and heard throughout the state on TV, the radio, billboards, and buses, but many who encountered them were left with less favorable thoughts about MNsure than they had going in.

See also:
MNGOP Minority Leader David Hann uses false claim to criticize MNsure [VIDEO]



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MNGOP Minority Leader David Hann uses false claim to criticize MNsure [VIDEO]

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Hann isn't letting the truth get in the way of his anti-MNsure narrative.
During the MNGOP's end-of-the-legislative-session news conference this morning, Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) previewed an argument you're sure to hear frequently during campaigns against DFLers this summer and fall.

With Minnesota's economy on the upswing and the DFL accomplishing many of its goals while in control of state government the past two years, Republicans are looking for whatever fodder they can get. And one of the few obvious lines of attack open to them is MNsure, which created headaches for users early on thanks to website failures and is still subject to questions about its long-term financial viability.

See also:
Pat Kessler eviscerates MNsure, says officials lied to him


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ACLU opposes new law allowing state to keep newborn blood samples

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A bill signed into law earlier this week by Gov. Mark Dayton allows the health department to collect and store blood samples taken from newborn babies for an indefinite period of time, unless parents opt-out of the program.

And that's the problem, ACLU-MN Executive Director Chuck Samuelson argues. People shouldn't have to opt-out -- instead, they should opt-in.

See also:
Abbott Hospital gave newborn to wrong mom, who breastfed baby before mixup was noticed


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Here's the story behind those buttcrack billboards [IMAGE]

Categories: Health Care
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Seen one of those buttcrack billboards while driving around the Twin Cities?

Love 'em or hate 'em, if you have, you probably remember it -- and as a Minnesota Department of Health official told us, that's the whole point.

See also:
Man-shaming pro-life billboard towers over south Minneapolis intersection [PHOTO]


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Mark Dayton distances himself from MNSure bonuses debacle

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Hoppe (right) to Dayton: "As the person responsible for bringing MNSure to life, it is imperative that your office develop a plan to spare Minnesotans from even more pain and frustration."
Fourteen MNSure managers made $26,000 in bonuses in November while the health care exchange website they were charged with rolling out struggled through a number of technical issues, state officials recently announced.

SEE ALSO: Pat Kessler eviscerates MNsure, says officials lied to him

That revelation prompted Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, to fire off a stern letter to Governor Dayton comparing the bonuses to "the worst excesses of Wall Street."

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