Minnesota in focus: GOP candidates feud over health insurance

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Posted: Sep 15, 2017 5:02 PM

Minnesota Public Radio: MN GOP candidates feud over health insurance

An unusually early campaign dustup is underway between two of the leading 2018 Republican candidates for governor.

Their disagreement is over health insurance policy.

Keith Downey, the former state GOP chair, fired the first salvo this week on social media when he accused state Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, of bailing out rather than trying to kill the statewide health insurance exchange known as MNsure. Downey claims Dean used his position as chair of the House Health and Human Services committee to “prop up” MNsure by advancing a reinsurance bill last session. The measure provides subsidies aimed at stabilizing the cost of private insurance plans.

“He could have refused to hear the bill in his committee,” Downey wrote. “He could have led a charge to vote against passing it on the House floor. But he didn’t.”

Minneapolis StarTribune: Minneapolis mayoral candidates talk downtown safety, affordable housing

Minneapolis mayoral candidates traded barbs on issues from public safety to the citywide $15 minimum wage at a forum organized by the downtown business community Thursday, with much of the criticism directed at Mayor Betsy Hodges, who reiterated what she’s accomplished since being elected in 2013.

“I have not jumped to the head of the parade and pretended I’ve been leading it the whole time,” she said.

Hodges is facing challenges from Council Member Jacob Frey, DFL state Rep. Ray Dehn, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Tom Hoch and Aswar Rahman, among others. About 100 members of the local business community attended the forum, filling a conference room at the downtown Radisson Blu hotel.

Moderator Tom Hauser, a political reporter for KSTP-TV, kicked off the hourlong forum with a question about public safety and crime downtown — an issue that’s become central to the race. As with other topics, including affordable housing and the bid for Amazon’s new headquarters, candidates largely agreed on fundamentals but differed on specifics.

 

Minnesota Post: For some Minnesota counties, climate change may bring economic benefits

Scientists predict places like Texas and Florida will be bracing for more hurricanes like Harvey and Irma as the earth heats up in the coming years, and that rising temps and extreme weather events will cost those states’ economies.

Minnesota, not as much. According to a new study from an interdisciplinary team of researchers, Minnesota and other parts of the country, especially the upper Midwest, Northeast and West actually stand to benefit from climate change. At least in some ways.

The study, published in Science this summer, is the first to estimate the effects of climate change on multiple sectors at the county level, said Amir Jina, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a co-author of the report. The researchers assumed a “business as usual” scenario — what Jina described as “the world if we don’t adhere to the Paris Agreement, but don’t get too much worse in terms of what we’re doing” — and projected the effects of climate change out to around the end of the current century, 2080-99.

What they found surprised even them. While people often talk about how the world’s poorest countries will be disproportionately hurt by climate change, Jina and his colleagues found the same patterns across counties in the U.S., with the poorest third of counties, many of them in southern states, projected to experience much larger income losses by the end of the century than their wealthier counterparts, largely in the Northwest, upper Midwest and Northeast.