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Health Care Success Story in MN, ND, & SD

MN2020: Union Finds Better Health Care Formula

We’re featured at Minnesota 2020 today, in a great article by Aaron Sinner: Union Finds Better Health Care Formula

In brief, Local 49 has solved one of the trickiest challenges of the U.S. health care crisis: we’re getting outstanding medical outcomes with effective cost control, and we’re getting ahead of the costs that continue to spiral out-of-control for almost every other group.

MN2020.orgThe story starts with a familiar situation. In 2004, the Operating Engineers, or 49ers as they’re known, were struggling to manage their rapidly rising health expenses.

“We were hemorrhaging,” said Jim Hansen, Local 49’s recently retired Health and Welfare Trustee. When the union negotiated compensation increases, the numbers suggested it needed to invest the entirety of the raise in health insurance…
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Time to fix the Stillwater Bridge

U.S. Reps McCollum (MN-4) & Ellison (MN-5) oppose spending OUTSIDE their districts?Star-Tribune:
Bridge opposition from metro-area Reps McCollum & Ellison is misguided

After 80 years of increasingly heavy use, the historic two-lane Stillwater Lift Bridge is a landmark in dangerous disrepair while growth along the MN/WI border is steadily creating more traffic.

The proposed 4-lane bridge replacement project has been thoroughly vetted over the course of three decades. This is the plan that citizens and other stakeholders chose to best meet the traffic needs of the 21st century while causing the least environmental harm – and you know if both Rep. Bachmann and Senator Klobuchar can agree on the value and importance that this is not some minor, back-burner issue.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who wrote the bill and co-sponsors it with U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), discussed why she supports the $690 million bridge project with MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer in November.
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Straight talk about the Keystone XL Oil pipeline

Keystone delay has Canada pondering China oil deal

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday he had concerns the $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline might not win political approval in the U.S., and added that Canada should be looking outside the United States for markets.

“I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia. I think we have to do that.”
Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
via CTV National News

Common sense tells us that we’re not done using oil in the U.S., let alone the rest of the world. We have a ways to go to convert, although alternative fuels, wind turbines, and solar arrays are starting to have an impact. We know, and both pundits and politicians talk about, the critical nature of energy independence, and there’s no question that Canadian oil reserves are a strategic asset for North America.
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