By better managing the fastest growing area of the state budget, the Senate DFL is reducing spending in Health and Human Services while protecting core services for Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Senate DFL passed several major successes in 2014 focused on investing in quality care, improving public health and offering another pain relief option to treat debilitating conditions.

Quality Care – Highlighted by a major investment in home and community based services (the 5% Campaign), the DFL passed a number of bills that invest in patient care that also included an expansion in Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) to expand needed care to rural Minnesota and needed changes for the Board of Nursing to provide proper disciplinary action when needed.

Public Health – The DFL addressed a number of public health issues that included e-cigarette regulation and tanning bed regulations, a new study on childhood obesity, investing in the Homeless Youth Act and Safe Harbor Law and making needed changes to newborn screening practices.

Pain Management – Over the past several years, Minnesota has been discussing the merits of the use of medical marijuana. The Senate successfully passed legislation this year to allow the use of medical marijuana to treat debilitating conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Tourette’s syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease, or any condition that produces wasting syndrome, severe pain, nausea, seizures, spasms, or other conditions approved by the commissioner.

Sen. Sparks: Mayo decision to reduce options in Albert Lea is incredibly disappointing

It is incredibly disappointing when the legislature unites to invest $424 million in the Destination Medical Center in Rochester and then Mayo reduces services in other parts of their service area. I voted for the DMC funding and was very frustrated when the consolidation was announced. I did not expect expansion in Rochester and service reduction in Albert Lea. The DMC was advertised as good for the entire region – the decision to reduce services in Albert Lea appears like Mayo is going back on its word.

Sen. Dahle supports special session on cost of health insurance

St. Paul, Minn.— Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield) joined a growing list of legislators as he voiced his support for a special session to address the rising cost of health insurance premiums in Minnesota. Dahle and many other Senate Democrats have called for Governor Dayton to bring the legislature back in order to reconsider the solutions […] Read more

Senate DFL to hold press conference on MNsure

Senate DFL Health and Human Services leaders will be holding a press conference tomorrow afternoon to respond to false GOP claims about MNsure and the current rate hike in health insurance premiums.

Addressing Minnesota’s rising health insurance rates

I am a long-time champion of better health care access and coverage for all Minnesotans. The current rate hikes for MNsure are incredibly troubling, and there is no denying that changes must be made. We can all agree on this. But it is also important to point out that last session, Senate Democrats heard and passed three separate proposals all aimed at reducing the price of premiums.