March 17, 2019

Minnesota Senate vote sets up clash over lowering health care costs

The reinsurance program, launched in 2017, uses a combination of state and federal funds to offset health insurer costs for covering plan participants with high medical bills. It has been credited with helping lower premium prices for the roughly 155,000 residents who buy insurance on their own.

“Reinsurance works,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said in a statement. “It has been effective in stabilizing the market and proven to be cost-effective for the state.”

Extending the reinsurance program for three years would not require any additional state funding at this time because an existing pot of money for reinsurance approved by legislators has not been fully spent. Federal funds for the program are also expected to continue through 2022. Supporters say that without action, affected consumers would see a spike in their premiums.

But Democrats opposing the bill say there are better ways to tackle health care costs. Gov. Tim Walz said he has concerns with extending what he called a stopgap effort. The Democrat, who is pushing for his own plan to offer subsidies to lower costs for Minnesotans using the individual market, questioned whether insurers have done enough to contain costs themselves and cautioned against giving the health plans a blank check. (more…)

March 17, 2019

New Assisted Suicide Bill Introduced

HF 2152, an assisted-suicide bill was introduced in Minnesota on Thursday, March 8th.   After a brief analysis, the Minnesota Catholic Conference presents the following review: (more…)

January 25, 2019

Catholics at the Capitol – February 19th

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, together with the six dioceses, will host a gathering of potentially 2,000+ Minnesota Catholics on February 19, 2019 for a day of prayer, inspiration, education, and advocacy.  The program at the River Centre in St. Paul will include presentations by actor Jim Caviezel, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Gloria Purvis, along with music from Danielle Rose. (more…)

January 16, 2019

Minnesota’s January economic update shows reason for caution

The recently released  January Revenue and Economic Update gave us unsettling news about the state’s economic and budget landscape. The quarterly report from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) shows that recent state revenues have come in lower than anticipated. It also reports that the national economy is expected to continue to grow, but that growth will become quite slow. These two factors could be a potential warning that the $1.5 billion state budget surplus projected in the November Forecast may be too optimistic. (more…)
December 24, 2018

Statement on a Texas Federal Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act

“The Catholic Health Association is very disappointed in the recent Texas federal district court decision on the Affordable Care Act. We profoundly disagree with it from a legal perspective. It is un-American and immoral to be aggressively seeking to take health insurance from the over 20 million people who have finally received coverage through the ACA. (more…)

November 15, 2018

BHS communities recognized in US News and World Report’s ‘Best Nursing Homes’

Fifteen senior care communities in the Benedictine Health System, a leading faith-based provider of quality senior care and living services in the Midwest, received the top high performing recognition in overall quality in the nursing home category and/or in the new category of overall quality of short-stay rehabilitation, as noted in the recently released 2018-2019 U.S. News and World Report “Best Nursing Homes” report. (more…)

October 30, 2018

Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, to retire as president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United State

Sr. Carol Keehan, an influential voice for increasing health care access for all and a lifetime advocate for the poor, today announced her retirement as president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) effective June 30, 2019. Sr. Carol is the ninth president and CEO of CHA, the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation, serving in the role since 2005.  (more…)

October 25, 2018

St. Mary’s designated in top tier for trauma care

A six-year-long effort culminated Monday in an email that arrived in Jim Garvey’s inbox.

That’s how Garvey, administrator of Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, learned that St. Mary’s had become the fifth hospital in Minnesota designated as a Level I trauma center. (more…)

September 15, 2018

Barb Wessberg Honored by MN Association of Healthcare Volunteers

Congratulations to Barb Wessberg, CEO of Benedictine Living Community of Duluth, who was honored by Minnesota Association of Healthcare Volunteers as recipient of Outstanding Senior Leadership Award.

July 30, 2018

‘Every single day is a gift’: This dying man openly opposed assisted suicide in his last days

There was a time — several months after J.J. Hanson was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, but several years before he died from it — when, he once said, he might have considered ending it all.

The husband and father said in 2015 that the previous year, he learned that he had a Grade 4 brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme and was given four months to live. (more…)