Mary Turck's blog

Connecting health, equity and transportation

The increase in the minimum wage is the biggest public health legislation passed in the last legislative session, according to Minnesota health commissioner, Dr. Ed Ehlinger. Moving from lowest twenty percent income level to the second-lowest twenty percent income increases life expectancy by three years. Public health is also closely tied to transportation, said Ehlinger in his keynote address to the October 25 St. Paul Healthy Transportation for All forum. His insights offer a lot of food for thought.

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Subverting Obamacare — watch out for dirty tricks

The weekend brought news of two dirty tricks that could cheat people out of the health care coverage they need.

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Ebola and E. Coli

Ebola has killed one person in the United States, and two more are infected and being treated. E. coli killed two children in Oregon in September, and at least one more child is in serious condition. The CDC estimates that every year almost 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from food-borne illnesses, including E.coli, salmonella, campylobacter and others.

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Key questions: Choosing your family's health insurance

The package of information came in the mail. It covered just one part of the Medicare plan choices: the Part D prescription drug coverage. It weighed two pounds. Health insurance decisions are weighty questions! Every year, you need to make those decisions. If you do nothing at all, you are choosing to continue with last year’s insurance, even if the premium or coverage has changed. What do you need to know to make a good decision?

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Staying poor in America

Start poor, stay poor — there are exceptions, but that’s pretty much the rule in America. From last week’s depressing news cycle, some insights on how it works —

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#BringBackOurGirls — now?

Today’s news reports claim the Nigerian government and Boko Haram have reached a truce, and that the girls kidnapped six months ago will be returned. I want to believe. I want this to be true. And as much as I want to believe, I know that parents and families of 200+ girls want so immeasurably more for this to be true, for their girls to return.

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If you can't afford health insurance … three ways to get help

Health insurance costs a lot — family coverage costs more than $1300 per month. Most people can’t afford that. In other countries, the government provides health insurance. Not here. So what can you do to get help paying for health insurance?

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Cheating schools, students and taxpayers

What’s next after Minneapolis Public Schools terminated its $375,000 contract with Community Standards Initiative? The Star Tribune’s Alejandra Matos reported in detail on the story back in September, and nothing has happened since then to make MPS or CSI look any better. CSI, led by Clarence Hightower and Al Flowers, still has the first $46,000 payment — so the taxpayers are out that money. Going back a few years and looking at other contracts makes MPS look even worse.

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Citizenship Day comes to Lake Street

Anti-immigrant critics who complain that, “They don’t want to learn English and become citizens” should see the action at CLUES. The Lake Street office bustled with activity on October 11. About 30 immigrants and lots of volunteers showed up for Citizenship Day, ready to complete the 21-page application and move on to filing.

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What does health insurance cover?

Last year, I paid $30 for my flu shot. This year, I’ll pay nothing, as long as I go to my own clinic or one of dozens of others approved by my health insurance company. That’s one of the changes made by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires insurance policies to cover ten basic areas:

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