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Session 2005

Session 2005: Health Care

The final day of the seven-week-old special session showcased a battle of special interests, a bit of political showmanship and some blown fuses, literally. (07/14/2005)
Disagreements over how to fund health care programs were a major factor leading to the shutdown, and the budget agreement has not put an end to the controversy. (07/12/2005)
Minnesota state workers are back on the job after Gov. Pawlenty and legislative leaders reached an early-Saturday-morning agreement that ends the state's first-ever partial government shutdown. Pawlenty and legislative leaders agreed on an overall budget. Pawlenty also signed a temporary "lights -on bill" into law after the House and Senate quickly passed the measure. The law allows furloughed state workers to go back to work while lawmakers iron out the final details in the tax and spending bills. (07/09/2005)
The partial state government shutdown is causing Minnesota nonprofits that help battered women, immigrants and others to lay off workers and plan for closing their doors. (07/01/2005)
Nine-thousand state employees are out of work after lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a budget or pass a bill that would keep government running past midnight last night. (07/01/2005)
Senate Democrats say they're willing to back off their proposal for an income tax increase on the state's wealthiest households, and House Republicans say they're ready to preserve health care for thousands who would have lost coverage under earlier budget offers. (06/29/2005)
Sen. Linda Berglin's refusal to get out of the way of Republicans' plan to eliminate state health coverage for some 30,000 adults is a key to the Legislature's special session, one that could ultimately lead to a partial shutdown of state government. (06/12/2005)
Democrats said Thursday they would accept a portion of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed cigarette charge as long as the proceeds go to subsidized health care programs. (06/09/2005)
The failure to pass a budget so close to the end of the fiscal year is causing concern for many people, including those who rely on state-subsidized health care. People who rely on the state's MinnesotaCare insurance and those who treat them say they don't know how to plan for their care beyond July 1. (06/08/2005)
Gov. Pawlenty is proposing the state collect an additional 75 cents a pack on cigarettes. He's calling the new money a "health impact fee," and says the money would be used to pay for state health-care costs. Pawlenty insists his proposal is a fee, not a tax. The distinction is critical because a budget deal could hinge on Pawlenty's ability to come away from negotiations saying he's standing by his pledge to not raise taxes. (05/20/2005)
A new study by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota says smoking was responsible for almost $2 billion in medical costs in 2002. The insurer's Center for Tobacco Reduction and Health Improvement also blames smoking for 5,689 deaths that year. (05/11/2005)
Whereas the Minnesota House has moved to reduce the number of people covered by MinnesotaCare state-subsidized health insurance, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would increase the MinnesotaCare rolls. ( 05/05/2005)
An $8.7 billion health package that would expand the MinnesotaCare insurance program passed 38-29 in the Democrat-controlled Senate Wednesday, setting up an end-of-session struggle with the Republican-led House and Gov. Tim Pawlenty. (05/04/2005)
Over bitter objections from some Democrats, the Republican-controlled House approved an $8.1 billion health budget bill Friday that would eliminate public health insurance for at least 24,000 adults. (04/29/2005)
Senate Democrats are headed for a faceoff with House Republicans and Gov. Tim Pawlenty over the MinnesotaCare health plan for the working poor, with DFLers calling for an expansion and Republicans calling for cuts. (04/27/2005)
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Session 2005

DocumentSession 2005 Home
DocumentHealth Care
DocumentSocial Issues
DocumentState Shutdown

Video from the Capitol

Audio Live House video (Windows Media)

Audio Live Senate video (RealPlayer)

Audio Highlights

Audio Rep. Dan Dorman
The size of Pawlenty's bonding proposal (1/4/05)

Audio Rep. Barb Sykora and Sen. Steve Kelley
Education (1/4/05)

Audio Sen. Steve Murphy
Transportation issues (1/4/05)

Audio Rep. Fran Bradley
Health care initiatives (1/4/05)

Audio Sen. Larry Pogemiller
Funding issues (1/4/05)

Audio Rep. Jim Knoblach and Sen. Dick Cohen
The budget and human services (1/4/05)

Audio Rep. Andy Westerberg
Prospects for new stadiums (1/4/05)

Audio Sen. Michele Bachmann
Same-sex legislation (1/4/05)

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