COMMUNITY VOICES | What Will You Exchange in the Health Care Exchange, Minnesota?

The online Health Care Exchange approaches. What will change? Will you exchange your health insurance? Open enrollment for coverage plans is typically in November, and 14 food co-ops in the Twin Cities, 150 Credit Union Co-ops in Minnesota, and over 300 members of Small Business Minnesota are being targeted by a new campaign to switch to a Consumer-Operated and –Oriented Plan for employee health care.The Pro’s:No one can be denied health care coverage for being too fat, too skinny, or sick, per recent federal lawThe Co-Op option being organized in Minneapolis, called A Prairie Health Companion, will be hiring. It’s welcoming new Board members and citizens’ input, as well as new customers and employeesThe Con’s:Small businesses that never offered employees insurance before will soon meet with the complications of this requirement, amid other changes$6 million that would’ve funded start-up loans for health care Co-Ops across the country was cut from the Affordable Care Act when Congress cowered before the fiscal cliff in DecemberThe new Minneapolis-based Co-Op will be a cheap option, but not so cheap that those receiving state-funded health coverage could switch over to it I spoke with someone who’s been educating Minnesotans about co-operative health care pools for years, Joel Albers, Ph.D. of health economics. He said that Medica, Preferred One, Health Partners and the Blue Cross are using deceptive marketing to make people feel like they have power as individuals, using specific people as an emblem for their product.One example is the real, down-to-earth smiling face on Medica billboards and bus signage, next to the title “Medica. Changing the Face of Health Care.”You won’t see CEO David Tilford’s face on these advertisements, because they seem to appeal to Everyman. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | First Voices Cut from KFAI

Some bad news – KFAI recently had its board meeting & just hired a new Director who used to work for Minnesota Public (corporate) Radio. They have taken First Voices Indigenous Radio off the air & replaced it with a Chican@ community program on Sunday afternoons…Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Tiokasin Ghosthorse’s program needs to come back to KFAI, because he addresses imperialism, not just the surface issues!  In his excellent book on media, Dr Bob McKesnie famously said that by the late 1920s resources of mediocrity have begun to make their influence felt in radio. In the early 20’s, Radio Showed its unlimited potential for good. In fact the first lecture ever given on the air was in 1921. Thus 90 years ago we realized that broadcasting could be a force for good. But by the late 20’s, commercialism began to rear its ugly head. Even though we had many decades and many examples of excellence in broadcasting, there was always the danger that we would be pushed backward & downward by greed, the race to the bottom, the lowest common denominator, call it what you will… In our own time, here in the Twin Cities, we are engaged in such a struggle. Continue Reading