Health care in DC, Vikes and teachers in MN


The Supreme Court’s hearing on the Affordable Care Act dominated national news on Monday, the first of three scheduled days of oral arguments. The main issue is the individual mandate for health insurance, which would both make available and require health insurance coverage for people who are not covered by employer plans. The lawsuit also challenges expansion of Medicaid to cover more low-income people. In Minnesota, 10.3 percent of people under 65 are not covered by health insurance.  See Ezra Klein’s Wonkbook (New York Times) for summary of each of the issues, schedule for argument of each issue (anti-injunction act, individual mandate, severability, Medicaid expansion), and in-a-nutshell summary of arguments.  

Seven Minneapolis city council members signed on to the Vikes stadium deal Monday, for a majority of city council votes. City council members Elizabeth Glidden and Betsy Hodges in an op/ed published in the Star Tribune called the deal “dead on arrival.” One reason: what they call “a gaping hole” from overestimating the money the state can raise from pull-tabs.  

Across the river, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman focused on education in his State of the City address, praising a four-point increase in MCA scores last year, the Sprockets program’s coordinated listing of out-of-school programs, St. Paul’s Promise Neighborhood initiative, the district’s Parent Academies and summer learning plans. Other issues: praise for law enforcement, a promise that the often-moribund Penfield project will soon break ground, announcement that the land for St. Paul Saints downtown stadium has been acquired, praise of business in St. Paul and hat-tips to Cupcake and to Frogtown Farms, and more — all here.  

By a vote of 1,857 to 1,142, graduate students at the University of Minnesota turned down an attempt to form a union. The union drive was conducted with the support of the United Auto Workers. That’s about the same turnout and turn-down ratio as in the last union try in 2004, according to the Minnesota Daily

Provisions of the newly-negotiated Minneapolis teacher contract were released on Scribd, with provisions for a slightly longer school year and reduced class sizes in high priority schools. Sheila Regan has the story here