Rural Minnesotans Frustrated About Health Care + Internet Access

“Of all the issues, the price of health care dominated the list, with farmers and small business owners reporting costs of $25,000 to $45,000 per year in health insurance premiums and deductibles. . .

Wertish said those at the meetings voiced almost universal support for some kind of public health care option to be implemented, such as a buy-in option to Minnesota­Care or even a single-payer program. Other ideas have included more support for programs such as health care cooperatives, or reinstatement of a high-risk health care pool funded by insurance companies.” —Star Tribune, May 2nd

Respondents to the survey by the Minnesota Farmer’s Union also the raised the issue of internet access, which they said should be served as a public utility.

MN Senators Hold Net Neutrality Roundtable with Local Business Leaders

“U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota along with Sen. Ed Markey from Massachusetts on Friday met with local business owners, experts and advocates to discuss an effort to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s recent rollback of net neutrality rules.

During the roundtable discussion at Treehouse Health in Minneapolis, local stakeholders voiced concerns to the senators about how the new FCC rules — which allow internet service providers to block, slow down or speed up service to certain websites — have affected their work. Net neutrality required ISPs to treat all sources of content equally.” —Star Tribune, April 27th

MN Lawmakers Introduce Net Neutrality Bills

“State Rep. Paul Thissen and state Sen. Ron Latz announced Thursday that they were sponsoring bills that would require companies that do business in Minnesota to comply with “commonsense net neutrality principles.”

“Every day we inch closer to restricting consumers from having free and fair access to the internet,” said Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. “The FCC has ruled in favor of special interests in the telecommunications industry, but that does not mean Minnesota will concede without a fight.”

Their bill improves protections for consumers, combats fraud and increases competitiveness, the lawmakers said in a statement.” ~Pioneer Press, March 1st

MN Reps Cosponsor Net Neutrality Bill

“Five of them have publicly come out as cosponsors, all DFLers: Tim Walz, Betty McColllum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan.

Critics – such as Doyle and his 81 cosponsors – say the elimination of these open internet rules favors telecom companies and hurts consumers.

Citing “overwhelming” public support for net neutrality (which polls such as this one back up), Doyle said: “I’m confident that if there’s enough public pressure, Congress will overturn the FCC’s order killing net neutrality.” ~GoMN recaps MN Rep response to the repeal of Net Neutrality