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Legislative Update (Sept. 20, 2013)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dear neighbor,

As we prepare to enter the month of October, I’m keeping a close eye on the new state government-organized healthcare bureaucracy. MNsure, the Minnesota arm of Obamacare will begin its open enrollment process on October 1. However, what I’ve seen so far in the lead up to open enrollment has given me great pause.

During the legislative session, I voted against creating a state government healthcare exchange - what’s now MNsure – because I had serious concerns about the increased costs it would impose, the limiting of healthcare options, and the lack of safeguards for patient data privacy. Unfortunately, some of my fears have come true.

Recently, we discovered that an employee of MNsure inadvertently e-mailed a document that contained the private information – including names, addresses, and social security numbers of over 1,000 insurance agents to a metro-based insurance broker. Even though MNsure officials claim they’ve taken the proper steps to address the issue, I remain skeptical that the personal information of the 1.3 million Minnesotans that MNsure seeks to enroll will be kept secure.

I’m also disturbed by the fact MNsure awarded a publicly-funded grant to Planned Parenthood. In an effort to help promote enrollment, MNsure named 30 “trusted community organizations” as recipients of taxpayer-funded grants to provide assistance to those applying for health insurance through this new healthcare bureaucracy. It’s troubling that the state’s largest abortion provider would be receiving a portion of a $4 million grant paid for by taxpayers.

These are just a few of the many growing problems with MNsure and I’m not yet convinced it’s ready for prime time.

CHILDCARE UNIONIZATION

Yesterday, September 19, a federal appeals court imposed an injunction on the childcare unionization lawsuit. This means unionization cannot take place until the injunction is lifted. According to the court, the injunction will remain in place until the U.S. Supreme Court makes a decision to hear a related lawsuit out of Illinois regarding home-care workers. It’s unclear how long that will be, but I’m happy for the moms, dads, and childcare providers who can breathe a little easier now that unionization won’t be imminent. We don’t need unions raising costs and creating fewer options for hardworking families in Minnesota.

Although the legislature is not currently in session, I can still be reached via email at rep.steve.green@house.mn. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-9918. Mail can be sent to Rep. Steve Green, 231 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Steve

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