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

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."

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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
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.

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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]

david hann rect.jpg
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

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.

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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
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.

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

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Mark Dayton distances himself from MNSure bonuses debacle

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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MNGOP Rep. Davids says MNsure will literally mean doomsday for some Minnesotans

Thissen (right) characterized Davids's doom-and-gloom scenario as "rhetoric designed to scare Minnesotans."
Last week, Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, made a bold and terrifying proclamation: He told the Rochester Post Bulletin that "people will die because of MNsure. That's a fact."

RELATED: Pat Kessler eviscerates MNsure, says officials lied to him

As the January 1 deadline approaches, at which point some folks could lose their health insurance if they can't navigate MNsure's balky website and enroll for a plan, Davids said reporters will soon be seeing "people walking out without life-saving surgery, without their chemotherapy because they don't have an insurance card."

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Pat Kessler eviscerates MNsure, says officials lied to him

Kessler (right) has nothing good to say about Todd-Malmlov's stewardship of MNsure.
During his regular appearance on Dan Barreiro's KFAN radio show yesterday, WCCO political reporter Pat Kessler shed some light on reasons for former MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov's sudden resignation that go beyond her controversial late-November tropical vacation.

Asked when 'CCO became aware of some of the problems plaguing the state health exchange's website, Kessler said his efforts to figure out what was going on at MNsure were complicated by the fact that officials "lied to us."

THE BACKSTORY: MNSure director criticized for taking two-week tropical vacation amid enrollment problems

"I believe that this is one of the most closed, obtuse, misdirecting, camouflaging agencies I've ever dealt with," Kessler concluded. "Jibberish is what I got from them."

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MNsure director Todd-Malmlov resigns amid vacation controversy

Categories: Health Care
April Todd-Malmlov
:::: UPDATE :::: Pat Kessler eviscerates MNsure, says officials lied to him

Last Thursday, news broke that MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov took a two-week trip to Costa Rica late last month while the state health care exchange website she oversees struggled with a number of problems.

RELATED: MN Jobs Coalition ad mocks MNsure director's tropical vacation [IMAGE]

During a news conference the next day, Governor Mark Dayton said that while he was "incredulous" over the state health care site's glitches, he didn't think Todd-Malmlov's trip was anything too get too worked up over. The controversy was reignited yesterday, however, by the revelation Todd-Malmlov vacationed with the state's Medicaid director, Jim Golden.

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MN Jobs Coalition ad mocks MNsure director's tropical vacation [IMAGE]

:::: UPDATE :::: MNsure director Todd-Malmlov reportedly resigning amid vacation controversy

This afternoon, the conservative Minnesota Jobs Coalition sent City Pages a new ad that has fun at the expense of MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov, who generated unfortunate headlines yesterday thanks to the two-week vacation she took late last month while the state's new health online exchange continued to be plagued by a number of usability issues.

The Jobs Coalition's ad alludes to the surprisingly controversial Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox imagery MNsure used earlier this year to promote the exchange.

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