Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cancer toll for Iron Range miners grows; so does need for single-payer, universal health care...

As the cancer toll for Iron Range miners grows; the need for single-payer, universal health care becomes a more urgent issue.

What I don't understand about this entire story on cancer on the Iron Range is why the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party was not on top of this situation long ago. Why would the DFL have needed Pawlenty to tell them about this problem?

Has there been no communication between the medical community and unions? No communication between research centers and unions? What gives here? Certainly, someone in labor was responsible for touching base with the medical and research communities. Are we to believe so many people have been asleep at the switch so to speak; or quite frankly just don’t care about doing their jobs in a conscientious manner? It has to be one or the other. There is no way a problem of this magnitude which has been so devastating to so many individuals and their families could not have been widely known.

The people who should have cared and been concerned didn’t care; this is the bottom line. This is what we get when politics becomes a mere game rather than a means to an end in making life better for working people.

James Oberstar has represented this area for over thirty years and is well known for his excellent constituency outreach services which he claims is the best in the nation; and, his constituency assistant Peter Makowski is a former miner and union official.

How could it be that Mr. Bratulich the International Rep. for United Steel Workers Union with his office right smack dab in the center of the Iron Range in downtown Eveleth, Minnesota where retirees meet could have been unaware of all of this... what about the United Steel Workers Health and Safety people... what kind of relationship do any of these people really have with the rank and file workers and the people living on the Iron Range that they were not on top of this situation already?

Mr. Bratulich sat in his Eveleth office playing computer games as a single-mom fought to save her home after the death of her father--- a life long miner and USWA member--- died from cancer and left the family with a horrendous medical bill and the greedy medical establishment took their family home in payment. Congressman Oberstar was asked to help and he did just what Mr. Bratulich asked him to do: nothing. Peter Makowski sat in his office in Chisholm… never budged.

We know what to expect from a viciously anti-labor Pawlenty administration.

But, these are people who are supposed to know what is going on with the families in their communities... one would think they would know to keep alert to health issues of this magnitude.

One of the big problems with Iron Range politics is James Oberstar. He lives in Washington D.C. toodling around town on his high-priced bicycle in an affluent neighborhood and comes back to his district to walk in Fourth of July Parades to wave to people and shake hands and throw a few pieces of candy to the kids… this is the extent of his connection to the 8th Congressional District. He sets the “example” for Iron Range politics. He is backed by union leaders who apparently don’t have much more enthusiasm to get out and find out what is going on any more than their trophy politician Oberstar does.

It is kind of far fetched for me to believe these people are as ignorant of the situation as they claim to be.

Has not one of these families with a loved one suffering from this painful and deadly cancer ever sought assistance from the union, their Congressman, or State Legislators... come on people, wake up; we relied on these people to be on top of all of this because we all know Pawlenty and his administration only have one concern... that concern is for the profits of the mining industry which has subsidized their campaign... but, union members also have paid dues and contributed very heavily to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.

The entire mess is just sickening.

Working people pay with their labor and their health; the mining companies profit, as the circus in the Cities continues and people still are buying tickets to see the same old show.

I seriously believe that the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party isn’t going to accomplish anything until they get some good stiff competition that isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right instead of playing these stupid and senseless political games which leave people dying in the pits and in Iraq with our tax dollars subsidizing this whole rotten mess when we should at least be getting single-payer, universal health care… until the competition arrives on the political scene and rank and file organization takes shape in the unions, we can expect to see a lot more game playing on the nightly news while working people pay the ultimate price with their lives.

The Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party now calls for funding more research into cancers on the Iron Range when the DFL should be calling for a fully funded, comprehensive, all-inclusive, single-payer, universal health care system.

It is completely irresponsible for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party’s Legislative Caucus to continue holding off in calling for real single-payer, universal health care in response to this present horrendous health care mess.

The time has come for us to take thirty thousand Minnesotans to go talk to Legislators and the Governor.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cancer on the Iron Range and in Minnesota Casinos

Many resolutions such as the one I have posted below have come from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.

There is a blatant hypocrisy to these resolutions in that Minnesota's more than 20,000 (and growing) casino workers were not mentioned in any of these resolutions; nor covered by the new "Freedom to Breathe" legislation.

This has not been by accident. Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez [pictured below], the handpicked Summit Hill club successor to "Cadillac Mike," has repeatedly referred to the casino industry as, "Our Native American friends in the casino business."

It is no coincidence that Melendez has demonstrated the same hypocrisy towards Iron Range miners who have been suffering work and environmental related cancers for many years as the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has been fully aware that the Iron Range was a very unique and significant "cancer cluster" in the United States. There was no need for Melendez and the Minnesota DFL to take note of this only as a means of "making political hay" at the expense of a well-known anti-labor, anti-people governor. Melendez, as are all Minnesota legislators including Iron Range legislators, have been fully aware of the problem with these cancers. James Oberstar has concealed, and kept his mouth shut about this issue for well over 30 years--- from the time he worked for that pathetic corrupt politician Blatnik.

The question is begging to be asked: Why did Melendez wait until now to utter a word about a problem he has known about? The answer is obvious; for Melendez politics is a mere game. For working people politics is about life, and in this case, death.

In the very same manner that Melendez has continued a more than fifty year Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party "tradition" of evading this "cancer cluster" on the Iron Range, he--- and the MN DFL--- continue to ignore the plight of casino workers when it comes to the effects of second hand-smoke.

In fact, in a personal conversation I had with unsuccessful Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party United States Senate candidate, Ford Bell, who asked me to endorse him for his U.S. Senate bid, Ford Bell acknowledged that casino workers were the largest group of workers being hurt by second-hand smoke. Ford Bell should know; he is the past President and Chief Executive Officer of one of the leading organizations in the world on the effects of second-hand smoke in the working environment--- his own biography states: From 1995 to 2005, he served as President and CEO of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, a prominent research organization and one of the largest providers of community heart health education in the United States. At least Ford Bell did have the political and moral courage to vigorously make single-payer, universal health care one of two primary platforms of his campaign; ending the dirty war in Iraq being the other.

Here again, Brian Melendez and this arrogant leadership at the helm of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, while making the pretense of remaining impartial, even manipulated and maneuvered to sink Ford Bell's campaign for United States Senate.

During the 7th Congressional District Convention, Melendez and his little clique went so far as to try to prevent Ford Bell's campaign workers from distributing Bell's campaign material... it was only after my very vigorous and vocal intervention that Bell's campaign workers were allowed to distribute his material as all other candidates were afforded the opportunity. Any one can pick up the phone and call Ford Bell to verify this... or the Seventh District Chair who refused to intervene on Bell's behalf.

WE are talking about very basic and elemental issues of democracy being attacked by Chair Melendez and his wrecking crew of Susan Rego and Andrew O'Leary.

Ford Bell and I had a very cordial discussion about why I would not endorse him; although I did continue to state throughout the campaign that he was obviously a better candidate for the MN DFL to put forward than Amy "Republican Lite" Klobuchar who has never taken anything but an opportunist stand on any issue... once in awhile she happens to take a correct position, but the action is one of political expediency rather than based upon any kind of moral or political courage.

Ford Bell refused to take up the issue of the right of casino workers to be free from second-hand smoke as a condition I placed upon him for my endorsement--- he lost the nomination for the United States Senate to Amy "Republican Lite" Klobuchar whose big campaign boast was that her grandfather was "a miner on the Iron Range."

In fact, Amy "Republican Lite" Klobuchar's grandfather was a straw boss for the mining company and from this position "fingered" many miners who were involved in the struggle to unionize the mines who upon being fingered lost their jobs along with their health in later life; but, this isn't the point, here; even though this gives us an idea of her moral and political integrity. The point is, Amy "Republican Lite" Klobuchar used her association as coming from a mining family, but refused to refer to the "cancer cluster" on the Iron Range in her campaign--- and once elected, in the very same manner she has refused, like the rest of the Minnesota DFL [with the exception of the Roseau County DFL]to respond to the health related problems of casino workers to second-hand smoke.

In fact, the DFL has very hypocritically refused to mention the "cancer cluster" on the Iron Range while simultaneously ignoring a similar health related plight of casino workers.

In fact, Minnestota Farmer-Labor Party organizer and Communist Party member--- United States Congressman John Bernard--- requested the United States Congress investigate this "cancer cluster" in 1936 immediately after his election to the United States House of Representatives. He was backed up in this request by his long-time friend and socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party Governor, Elmer Benson. As far back as 1928, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Communist Party organizer who helped to spearhead the union organizing efforts of the Red Finns which successfully organized the mines on the Iron Range was referring to "work related hazards... including deadly cancers" among "iron ore miners on Minnesota's Iron Range" as she criss crossed the United States making our nation's working class aware of the struggles of iron ore miners for justice and human dignity; Flynn made impassioned pleas for solidarity with iron ore miners on the Mesabi Iron Range.

We need to ask "why" every single thing affecting the lives of working people--- their employment, their communities, and now even their health--- is viewed by the DFL Legislative Caucus and the Brian Melendez leadership as part of a political game; worthy of mere press releases aimed at embarrassing an anti-labor Republican Governor who needs no help in this respect?

Mr. Melendez has led the fight AGAINST single-payer, universal health care and has actively "strategized" in developing "tactics" aimed at confusing Minnesotans as to what single-payer, universal health care really is all about; again, as part of his political games and cruel shenanigans.

We have all seen and heard the responses from DFL legislators concerning Pawlenty with-holding information on this "cancer cluster" which further documents a problem we have all known has existed for years. What did we see and hear? A justifiable attack on Pawlenty and this horrendously anti-labor Republican administration.

However, what was lacking was any mention of the need for single-payer, universal health care in helping these miners and their families suffering from these cancers which are work and environmentally related.

The Minnesota DFL has consistently ignored the warnings from former United States District Court Judge Miles Lord of the cancer related problems associated with iron ore mining and the taconite industry... just as the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has continued to ignore the plight of casino workers and second-hand smoke. Just as this "cancer cluster" signifies a pattern, so too does the silence of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.

Perhaps if these political opportunists had family members suffering from the work-place and environmental related cancers in the mining communities and in the casinos we would be hearing a little different story on the nightly news.

This resolution below intentionally excludes casino workers. The writer of this resolution was fully aware that casino workers would not be included in the "Freedom to Breathe" legislation, yet, in the most arrogantly racist and anti-labor manner, without any regard to the health hazards particularly to young working women of child-bearing age, went right ahead and used the term: "all workers in Minnesota."

Again, no mention of "single-payer, universal health care" in this resolution even though the writer of this resolution was fully aware that Minnesota workers suffering the health consequences of second-hand smoke are having their homes taken away from them to cover health related expenses.

Again, the resolution refers to "all workplaces in Minnesota" need to be smoke-free, fully aware that this legislation would not apply to casino workers.

Here is the resolution:

Freedom To Breath - Smoke Free Minnesota Resolution
Submitted by mmcintee on Mon, 03/06/2006 - 6:40pm. Resolutions

WHEREAS, secondhand smoke kills 38,000 Americans every year from cardiovascular disease and lung cancer; and

WHEREAS, worksites and public places are locations where both members of the community and employees of those establishments are exposed to secondhand smoke; and

WHEREAS, most but not all workers in Minnesota are protected from secondhand smoke through smoke-free workplace policies; and

WHEREAS, restaurant and particularly bar workers are most exposed, most vulnerable and least protected from secondhand smoke in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, the DFL's Ongoing Platform supports reasonable regulations that ensure safety and the rights of all workers; and

WHEREAS, employees should not be forced to risk their health through exposure to dangerous and deadly toxins in their workplace; and

WHEREAS, the DFL's Ongoing Platform supports living and working conditions free from significant exposure to poisons; and

WHEREAS, the most effective way to protect employee and public health from the hazards of secondhand smoke is to prohibit the causes of secondhand smoke by creating smoke-free environments,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party supports a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law ensuring that all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, become smoke-free and include this support as an Action Agenda Item in the DFL's ongoing platform.

I wrote a response to this arrogant, anti-labor, racist hypocrisy of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party which was published in the TimberJay newspaper, an Iron Range newspaper. I publish it below:

Letter to the editor published in Timberjay Newspaper

Link: http://timberjay.com/current.php?article=3361

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Volume 18, Issue 22

Legislators should show concern for casino workers

Over twenty thousand Minnesotans go to work in smoke-filled casinos everyday. State legislators don’t care about casino workers or casino patrons who are the same people they say they are protecting from second-hand smoke everyplace else with the new “Freedom to Breath” legislation.

If state legislators would show some concern for these 20,000 casino workers employed in an industry making money hand over fist, which subjects casino workers not only to the health hazards of second-hand smoke, but leaves them completely at the mercy of managements that have no respect for working people and their right to be employed in a healthy and safe workplace to begin with, Reps. David Dill and Tom Rukavina would not have to be complaining of an “uneven playing field.”

People sit in bars by choice; people work in these casinos because they need a job. There is a big difference; both Dill and Rukavina should be able to understand this. Workers have a right to expect that state legislators will not throw them into situations where they have no rights under state or federal labor laws and now without the protection of “Freedom To Breath” legislation, something state legislators have done with casino workers.

Who has allowed such an “uneven playing field” to develop in the first place? These legislators should look in the mirror.

It is up to Dill and Rukavina to stop crying about this smoking ban and the “uneven playing field” they created in the first place and continue to tolerate... their concern should be for the health of all workers, including casino workers, and Dill and Rukavina should take the appropriate measures to “level the playing field” by making sure all workers, including casino workers, have the right to be employed in safe and healthy work environments protected by the same state and federal labor laws that protect all other workers.

I have a great deal of respect for Rep. Rukavina and support just about everything he does as a state Legislator, but on this issue he is all wrong. Rep. Rukavina is concerned about a few bar owners when he should be concerned about the people working in these bars for eight, ten, and twelve hours who breathe in this second-hand smoke.

I am quite sure I speak for all of organized labor on this; I know I speak for most working people who want to be employed in a healthy and safe working environment.

Mr. Maki is Director of Organizing- Red Lake Casino, Hotel, and Restaurant Employees’ Union Organizing Committee and serves on the DFL State Central Committee.

Whether we are speaking of the "cancer cluster" on the Iron Range or more than 20,000 Minnesotans working in casinos... time, and time again, we are seeing demonstrated the same uncaring and insensitive attitude towards working people by the DFL Legislative Caucus and the present opportunist leadership of the party hacks who have a strangle-hold on the DFL Party organization and apparatus.

Time, and time again, we see how these cowardly political hacks resort to the same vicious smear campaigns trying to silence their critics. I am not their first target, I will not be their last... unless those who respect working people and grassroots activists put an end to this sad, sad state of affairs in the MN DFL where the very lives of working people are being used to play political games rather than solving the problems at hand people will begin to look for other political alternatives in solving their problems; I for one, think it would be good if an alternative to the do-nothing politics of the MN DFL developed... the sooner the better; this would be healthier for democracy; this would be healthier for our state and Minnesota's working people... yes, there is a pun intended.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Democracy is just another word for nothing left to lose...

Dear Dan DuHamel, member MN DFL State Central Committee;

Ok, I will remove your name from the “list” as you have requested for the first time. Please understand the list you refer to is the list Susan Rego made available to each member of the DFL SCC. It is not a list I created. I obtained this list in the same way each and every other member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee has obtained it. Just as you have obtained it in fact.

Someone has even been so dishonest as to state to Yahoo Abuse and CenturyTel Abuse that I am no longer a member of the MN DFL SCC which is an outright lie and another method of harassment.

I am requesting that Audrey Thayer of the Bemidji, Minnesota Racial and Justice Task Force of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union pass this letter along to the executive board of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union.

I would suggest that you request of MN DFL Secretary Susan Rego that she remove your name from this list because every time she updates the list your e-mail address will reappear on it and then we have to go through this all over again.

I will not waste my time continuing to search for your e-mail address for removal each time.

YOU, Mr. Du Hamel, have a responsibility to make sure you don’t give out your e-mail address willy-nilly and then complain like this. You are an adult with the responsibility that goes along with it… one of those responsibilities is not giving out your e-mail address if you don’t want to receive e-mail. Anyone with an ounce of common sense understands that when they willingly provide their e-mail address to be included on an e-mail list of a political Party’s State Central Committee they are going to receive many e-mails from many different people who have a variety of political opinions and world views often different from your own.

The purpose of having a DFL SCC e-mail list is for each member of the SCC to convey and exchange ideas with other members.

I find it rather ironic that when I first started circulating my e-mails to the list Andrew O’Leary, Susan Rego, and Brian Melendez cried the loudest because I was not including them on the list. Then a secretary from Walter Mondale’s office called me and threatened to sue me if I did not include her on the list so old Fritz could read what I was saying about him.

Just so you know, I will be reporting future requests to have names removed from updated lists to the proper law enforcement agencies because I consider that when Brian Melendez and Susan Rego single out my e-mails in asking their chums to write me to remove them from an e-mail list they in fact created and distributed and disseminated for use by each member of the DFL SCC this is, in fact, a form of harassment that rises to the level of a hate crime.

I do don't have time to go searching for names on a list. Some of those who wrote requesting I take their names off actually wrote me from different e-mail addresses than what I was sending to causing me to waste untold hours of my time; this was not by accident, but through malicious intent; people treating politics as a game.

You are aware that the MN DFL, its various Party organizations, and political candidates send out numerous unsolicited e-mails. Walter Mondale sent me all kinds of e-mails I never requested as did many other candidates? Where did they get my e-mail address? From Brian Melendez and Susan Rego. Did I complain? No. What I didn't want to read I just hit the "Delete" button.

You know, when someone of the dwindling stature as Walter Mondale publicly advocates for a “pre-emptive” strike against North Korea in order to gain a higher profile, I think I have a right to voice my views in opposition to such a disgusting suggestion and that I have a responsibility to make my views known to EACH and EVERY member of the MN DFL SCC.

Likewise, when the MN DFL State Legislative Caucus which overwhelmingly controls--- by a numerical majority--- a Senate Committee which determines whether or not legislation to save the Ford Plant will get before the full Senate and House and without being able to account for how this legislation does not make it through this most important Senate Committee presided over by a member of the MN DFL Legislative Caucus who also happens to be the town drunk, who inadvertently forgets to ask the secretary of the committee to take proper minutes and then in his drunken stupor forgets to request a roll call vote leaving us without any accountability as to what went on in these proceedings while another DFL’er, Rod Skoe, was out to dinner paid for by his Republican colleagues; again, I think I have the right, and the obligation, to make my views known to each and every member of the MN DFL SCC.

In the case of your fellow Minnesotans, over 20,000 and growing, who are forced to go to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights under state, federal, or tribal labor laws under the most Draconian conditions without any voice in the workplace as the Chair Melendez welcomes “our Native American friends in the casino industry” to our state convention as he did in Duluth--- again, I think I have an obligation to raise this issue; to raise it repeatedly; and, to raise it vigorously since neither you nor any other member of the MN DFL State Central Committee has had the common decency and lacked the moral and political courage to do so as you turn around and try to coerce everyone else into silence.

As for the issue of that poor old grandmother who used the deployment to Iraq of her grandson as political fodder to drum up support for legislation to continue funding this dirty, senseless, illegal, and immoral war in Iraq because she didn’t want her grandson to be “without bullets and armor” and I responded by making another political point in suggesting she “not cry if her grandson returns in a body bag,” Susan Rego has arbitrarily cut me from the DFL list serve. I want this to be made very clear… this grandmother lacks complete love and respect for her own grandchild.

Any grandmother who would use her grandchild as a political prop to advocate for continuing funding for this dirty war in Iraq demonstrates neither “respect” nor “love” for her grandchild; nor the rest of humanity. I was demonstrating love and respect for her grandchild, and for all those dying in this senseless war when I made this observation which shook many people to their senses as to how pitiful it was that Brian Melendez and Susan Rego would stoop so low as to encourage and allow this uncaring and unthinking grandmother to support a war in which her own grandchild might come back in a body bag so that Bush and Cheney’s oil buddies might profit as United States imperialism gains a strategic foothold through the establishment of permanent bases in the Middle East as part of its policy to dominate this oil rich region of the world which Republican Party fund raiser and Enterprise Institute founder Richard DeVos once referred to as a “big kitty litter box,” meaning it is ok to shit on the people in the Middle East as long as the oil continues to flow.

As you are fully aware, there is nothing of an illegal or immoral nature to my e-mails, but rather, each and every one of my e-mails has related to very legitimate issues of what is taking place in Minnesota politics.

I have checked with other who have e-mailed you as part of mailing to the entire list and you have never objected to receiving e-mails from them. My only conclusion is that you are part of the campaign being whipped up by DFL Chair Brian Melendez and DFL Secretary Susan Rego who fear a challenge to their positions. And, as far as I know, in a democracy and a political Party that supposedly prides itself on democratic ideals, it is still proper and fitting that I am part of a campaign by the Democracy Caucus to challenge them for the position of Chair and Secretary.

I think it is very unfortunate that you would heed the call of Brian Melendez to insist I take your name off of the list Susan Rego created. I have to wonder if you are even capable of thinking for yourself when you allow someone else to tell you what you can and can not read as if you are a small child in a Sunday school class being taught by Pat Robertson.

I hope you do not turn around and complain like several other people have done that once I took them off of these mailings they now want back on because they want to know what is going on. I will tell you the same thing I have told these other people, including Rick Stafford, “You wanted your name off because Brian Melendez told you to harass me with the request to take your name off, now go ask Brian Melendez for copies of what I send out."

I will have you know that while Brian Melendez and Susan Rego have made such a big deal of insisting that no one should read my e-mails and insist I take them off the list they in fact created, I have never received a request from either Brian Melendez or Susan Rego for me to remove their own names from these mailings… now, if that doesn’t appear just a little strange to you and the people at CenturyTel abuse and Yahoo, Inc abuse… someone doesn’t have much common sense or understand the nature of democracy… I am sure you would have joined the British in trying to silence Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin as they pamphleteered and leafleted.

By the way, this letter will be the feature of my blog today… and I will dedicate it to you and the others who have requested their e-mails be removed at the request of Brian Melendez so Minnesotans get an idea of the sheep at the helm of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. I will be posting your names (all ELEVEN of you) and e-mail addresses on my blog.

I hope this e-mail will be distributed widely; and with the posting of your e-mail address on my blog I hope you begin to hear from many Minnesotans who are fed up with those who have been elected to public office then sticking their heads into the sand like you apparently intend to do so that they can say they do not hear the pleas of Minnesotans for peace and social justice… or, the demand for single-payer, universal health care.

Alan L. Maki

Elected Member, Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee, Roseau County

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk


Ley Soltis, Chair, Roseau County DFL
58716 355th Street
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2293

So far, after a three week campaign, DFL Chair Brian Melendez and Secretary Susan Rego have convinced ELEVEN members out of hundreds to ask me to stop sending them my e-mails. Everyone knows how much time and energy Melendez and Rego have expended on their hate campaign against me in retaliation for my suggestion that what we really need is accountability from the DFL Legislative Caucus.

Had the equivalent energy and resources of the MN DFL been utilized to bring about accountability in assuring a democratic process on an issue like single-payer, universal health care Minnesotans would be very happy. But, Melendez and Rego have established their priorities and trying to silence me has been just another one of their unsuccessful campaigns, just like the loser they supported for Governor.

Dozens more have told me in phone calls, in person-to-person discussions, and through e-mails to keep my e-mails coming:

I am posting the e-mail addresses of those who have asked me to stop sending them e-mails about the war in Iraq, single-payer universal health care, the rights of casino workers, efforts to save the Ford Plant, and accountability & democracy... I am sure they would be just as thrilled to hear from you as they have been to hear from me... especially Betty Folliard who was the architect of the plan to get a Democrat elected governor by ignoring the plight of working people and reaching out to those in the affluent suburbs and gated communities. Of course, "uncle george" George Greene is everyone's favorite uncle and I am very unhappy he has chosen to ignore his "nephew" in consideration of his favorite cause... Israel's warmongering policies aimed at destroying the Palestinian people; as for Rick Stafford who begged, and begged, and begged for my vote at the State Convention promising to take up these issues... well, he is just another Party hack well on his way to being another politician without any accountability wallowing in contributions from the health care industry; poor Dan Du Hamel... there at the bottom of the list just because he went along to get along; then there is David Lee the "progressive" crusader who objects to roll-call votes and accountability and public ownership of the Ford Plant which is located in his own district... not a peep out of him as thousands of jobs and Minnesota's industrial base is sold down the River:





David W. Lee [chair@cd5.dfl.org]

Betty Folliard [bfolliard@strategypartners.biz]

Amanda Tempel [atempel@visi.com]

Rick STAFFORD [rickatmpls@msn.com]

George Greene [unclegeo@bstock.com]

Sharon Rickert [sharon@holoweb.com]

Daniel DuHamel [djduhamel@comcast.net]

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Minnesota DFL leadership demonstrates no respect or concern for working people...

Below is a letter I sent to David Lee who is Chair of Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party which is well known for sending out untold amounts of Spam soliciting financial contributions and everything else that goes along with being involved in politics...

Mr. Lee and a small group of Democrats heavily associated and influenced by business interests is among those, along with Brian Melendez and Susan Rego, who have initiated an unprecedented personal attack against me because I have insisted that several issues be placed on the table for solution.

Mr. Lee along with this small group has become enraged because I have insisted on accountability from the DFL Legislative Caucus. The Minnesota DFL controls both the House and Senate in the Minnesota Legislature, therefore, anything the DFL is for should have an easy ride through the Committee Process and on the Floor. This is not the case as we have sadly witnessed.

Things like single-payer, universal health care endorsed by an overwhelming majority of the grassroots delegates to the last State Convention should have been placed on the table early on during the last legislative session along with legislation aimed at bringing the Ford Plant under public ownership.

This was not the case. Single-payer, universal health care never saw the light of day and has only surfaced now in a form brought forward by Senator John Marty in a very good form with one little problem if left unresolved--- it will bankrupt the state; kind of hilarious in a sick sort of way.

We need to make it clear that we want this Bill to go forward in an altered form that removes the insurance companies and HMO's from the picture altogether. Only a complete fool would suggest that taxpayers should subsidize the profits of the insurance industry and HMO's while bankrupting the state in the process.

Senator John Marty is holding hearings around the state ostensibly to convince his fellow DFL'ers that there is a horrendous problem with the present state of health care in Minnesota.

Come on, really, are there any DFL legislators besides Rod Skoe--- the exemplary example of intellectual wisdom; Bernie Lieder--- the "I'm more conservative than my Republican opponent;" and, Dave Olin--- "I didn't know there was a problem with health care" who don't understand the health care system is in a complete mess? In fact, health care is a disaster because the insurance companies, doctors, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies, and HMO's have profited from people's misery and illnesses. In fact, in many cases the rotten health care system makes greater misery for people than the illnesses they suffer from.

Obviously the leading body of the Minnesota DFL, the State Central Committee should have convened a special meeting as I suggested long ago on the issues of health care and the war in Iraq with accountability being the focus; yet, the only response to my insistence that two special meetings of the State Central committee be convened on the two most important and pressing issues--- health care and the war in Iraq--- for the purpose of hammering out a position that not only includes nicely framed policy statements, but real solutions has been to attack me; and, I don't think I can stress "solutions" enough. Minnesotans want to see an end to this dirty war in Iraq and Minnesotans have made it very clear they want this health care mess resolved through a system of single-payer, universal health care.

Basic to any solutions to these two problems is accountability. We get accountability by holding politicians accountable in two ways: 1.) insisting DFL elected officials support the DFL program and platform (now there is a real no brainer one would think) and by insisting that we have a way of keeping track of how these members of the DFL Caucus are voting... we do this by insisting that the Chairs of Legislative Committees instruct the committee secretaries to keep accurate minutes of Committee Meetings in a way that the public can tell who says what; more importantly, a record of how all committee members vote... dah, another no brainer, yet, a suggestion that has caused State Chair Melendez, Secretary Rego and others like 5th District Chair David Lee to go ballistic and postal in their attacks on me for suggesting this.

Why did State Chair Melendez go ballistic and into a fit of rage at my suggestion that all committee votes in the State Legislature be roll call votes and recorded by the committee secretaries?

One need only examine what has happened with the issues of single-payer, universal health care (it hasn't even been introduced except in a form if left as is will be defeated for sure); and, the proposed legislation that would have helped to save the Ford Plant which went down to defeat in a very heavily DFL dominated committee--- someone needs to explain this.

In fact, the ineffective DFL leadership of Melendez and Rego engineered the defeat of this legislation because of Susan Rego's clear financial conflict of interest; both Melendez and Rego are beholden to the Summit Hill club, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, and the DFL Business Caucus which, according to Rego doesn't even exist, yet these ghosts meet monthly in various restaurants around the Cities.

We don't need a repeat of what Melendez and Rego engineered for the future of the Ford Plant with single-payer, universal health care where Minnesotans and members of the DFL don't know how legislators vote in committee or on the floors of the Senate and House. This is not democracy. This is corrupt and undemocratic government through manipulation and control by well-heeled, wealthy, and powerful financial interests.

Melendez, Rego, and David Lee must be held accountable for their roles in fostering this kind of corrupt and undemocratic government.

This trio should have to stand before the DFL State Central Committee and explain why legislating without accountability is taking place on the part of the DFL Legislative Caucus.

This issue of accountability is one that is so basic and fundamental to honest and democratic government that it boggles the mind that Melendez, Rego, and David Lee would retaliate in such a vicious manner against me for bringing this issue forward.

But, I had no choice except to raise this issue of accountability, no one else has raised this issue.

Not the media, not the bloggers, not the unions, not academia. Not one other member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has raised this issue that there has been a lack of accountability in the political process. Noting the reaction I have been subjected to I can kind of understand why. My real crime is that I put my thoughts about this in writing for all to read... and, lo and behold... everyone began saying, "Maki makes more sense than the entire bunch of those political hacks and those clowns passing themselves off for politicians."

Melendez, Rego, and David Lee have chosen to hide their attacks against me behind the skirts of a grandmother who used her grandson's pending deployment to Iraq as a political prop to silence those calling for an end to financing this dirty war in Iraq. I made the very simple observation that she should not cry if her grandson returns in a body bag--- a very realistic possibility given her mindless support for this senseless war.

This is the oldest trick in the book. Every high school debate student learns to try to shift to another issue when they can not explain and articulate their position.

Melendez, Rego, and David Lee have tried to shift the debate away from the issue of accountability using every dirty trick in the book and creating some new ones in the process centered around "Maki's lack of respect for a grandmother whose grandson is going off to Iraq." This all makes even Richard Nixon look like an angel in the way he attacked George McGovern... another progressive voice that Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and the Minnesota DFL helped to do in and we ended up getting stuck with Nixon.

Sure, Hubert Humphrey would be smiling at such shameful shenanigans being used by his contemporaries to replace progressive politics... and, you know, honest politics with accountability can not be separated from progressive politics because in the end when all is said and done--- after all the perfect framing of issues has taken place--- progressive politics is about accountability and honest government... accountability and honesty in government are the two primary hallmarks of progressive politics... yet Melendez, Rego, and David Lee indulge in the most atrocious and dishonest politics.

Mr. David Lee has sent me several very nasty e-mails, including suggesting that I don't have a right to even be in the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. He is irate that I have raised the issue of accountability and won't let it rest. I sent the following e-mail to Mr. Lee, I will publish his response if he has the moral and political courage to respond:

Mr. Lee,

Please enlighten me to what you see as some of the main problems facing Minnesotans and their solution.

By the way, I had removed you and the handful of other people who requested to be removed from my mailings to the DFL SCC… however, since you and others who are so concerned about my e-mailing have allowed Brian Melendez to take an action that disrupts my e-mailing to those who want to receive my e-mails and those with whom I communicate by getting Yahoo, Inc. to use its filtering system against all those with yahoo e-mail addresses I communicate with on a regular basis… I feel quite free to continue e-mailing all members, including you, of the DFL SCC.

Let me be perfectly frank… you did not step forward many months ago and support my suggestion that any of this (single-payer, universal health care, ending the war in Iraq, accountability from legislators) be placed on the SCC agenda; nor did you make any effort to put a halt to the campaign of hate that sprang up around the Chair’s and Secretary’s campaign to silence me; nor did you stand up and insist upon an explanation as to why the resolutions from the Roseau County DFL county convention went “missing.”

Nobody forced you to take the position of 5th District Chair which requires you to be attuned to these kinds of problems.

Do you really think that people are so stupid that when you say it is my methods that these very real problems people are experiencing are preventing the DFL from taking up, and putting forward, solutions? You must think everyone is a complete fool. I did not create any of these problems.

In fact, you, Brian Melendez and Susan Rego have taken my very legitimate concerns and turned this into a farce and fiasco.

You have shirked your responsibility when it comes to supporting dialogue and debate on how best to end the war in Iraq; you have not lifted your voice in protest against the continued contamination of our environment and freshwater aquifer up here in northern Minnesota by MinnTac and peat mining interests; you have never once brought forward the injustices 20,000 of your fellow Minnesotans are being subjected to as they go to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights in the workplace and without a voice at work. Not once have you raised your voice in support of single-payer, universal health care with accountability from the DFL Legislative Caucus on this issue.

Mr. Lee, had you raised your voice in what you consider to be a “proper” manner; there would be no reason for me to be addressing any of these problems in what you now consider an "improper manner."

In fact, what you consider "improper" is that I have raised these issues in the first place.

I have noted your continued silence concerning the barbaric behavior of the Israeli military in trying force the Palestinian people from their homes. I note you were silent as the Israeli military conducted its campaign of carnage in Lebanon... just as you sit in silence now as the Israeli perpetrated violence in Gaza spirals out of control.

You have not once lifted your voice in support of saving the Ford Plant and thousands of jobs through public ownership, the only way this plant will be saved in spite of the fact that you Chair the DFL organization where many Ford workers reside and where the Plant is located. You, Mr. Lee, despicably went along with Representative Paymar, the Summit Hill Club, DFL Business Caucus and the the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. Why, Mr. Lee, did you not insist on complete openness and accountability during the legislative process involving the legislation aimed at saving the Ford Plant and thousands of jobs?

Mr. Lee, you describe my actions as "improper." In what light should your own inaction on these very important and vital issues be cast?

Perhaps the worst of what you say is that you do not appreciate my methods; when in fact, what you do not appreciate is that these issues are being brought forward at all.

As for my bulk e-mailing, what makes my bulk e-mailing more offensive to you then that used by Keith Ellison, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Walter Mondale, the MN DFL, or any number of “bulk e-mailers.” In fact, I have received copies from people in your own district that have received unsolicited e-mails, mail, and leaflets from you and the 5th District DFL organization... might I suggest what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Mr. Lee, following your logic I would suggest that you not allow your 5th District DFL organization to e-mail, mail, or leaflet anyone or any household in your district unless they request you do such. I wonder how many people would actually request anything from a worthless, two-faced, political hack like you?

Should you and Mr. Melendez and Susan Rego and the handful of others want to play this little game you are playing rather than addressing the issues, let me assure you I am up to playing your game while continuing to address the issues in the process.

I have one of the largest e-mailing lists in Minnesota and I intend to make sure this list grows as I inform people of how you and a small group of people are continuing to dominate the DFL Party as if it is your own private piece of real estate or personal property when in fact it was created through a merger with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party for the purpose of empowering working people and giving a voice to working people trying to solve their problems just as I am doing. That you so detest what I am doing demonstrates your complete and utter contempt for working people trying to find solutions to their problems.

Now, Mr. Lee, if what I am doing is in violation of the rules and by-laws governing the Mn DFL Party, I would suggest that you and your cohorts take the appropriate actions provided within the DFL structure to have me removed rather than harassing me to no end for e-mailing people in the very same way that you do.

Let us not play games, Mr. Lee; you and I have absolutely nothing in common. I would suggest to you that you take your own advice and leave the MN DFL if you can not tolerate dialogue, discussion, and debate concerning the issues of importance to working people.

Should you really wish for me to leave the DFL, the only thing you have to do is take away the issues that have brought me here in the first place… several of which I have addressed here. You have only had many years to do this, and only now do you address these issues at all in opposing my “methods” of bringing these issues forward.

You are very right; I have no respect for political hacks like you who use such subterfuge and meanness to evade real issues.

Please feel free to contact the Chair of the Roseau County DFL with your concerns… please CC me a copy.

Mr. Ley Soltis is the Chair of the Roseau County DFL. Mr. Soltis can be reached at: 58716 355th Street, Warroad, Minnesota 56763. His phone number is: 218-386-2293.

Mr. Lee, I invite you, Chair Melendez and Susan Rego to work through the rules and by-laws of the Minnesota DFL and take the appropriate action in holding me accountable for what you have described as using "improper methods" and "improper conduct." I welcome you to initiate such proceedings rather than engaging in your campaign of intolerance and hate against me.

Quite frankly, Mr. Lee, your complaint of my "lack of respect" for a grandmother who would sit in silence and send her grandson off to fight in an immoral, illegal, unjust war in Iraq while using his deployment to drum up support for continuing to squander our tax dollars on this war is what I find both disgusting a shameful.

I have never in my life heard of a grandmother who would demonstrate such a lack of love, and lack of respect, for her own grandchild, that she would allow her grandchild to go off to war without a peep of protest and then turn around and use her grandchild to bully the rest of us into silence and into supporting the continued funding for this dirty war.

Mr. Lee, if this rotten government ever tried taking one of my grandchildren off to fight this dirty oilman's war I would be fighting like hell to prevent my grandchild from going in order to prevent harm to my grandchild and to prevent my grandchild from bringing harm to others; not using my grandchild as a pawn in a political game. Mr. Lee, you and her, are the epitome of everything dishonest and corrupt in politics in America today. I have no respect for the kind of politics you and she espouse.

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Monday, June 25, 2007

Campaign To End Spam

Susan Rego and Brian Melendez;


As the Fourth of July approaches, I would like all patriotic Americans to join our Campaign To End Spam. I would like you to join me and my colleagues on the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee in this Campaign To End Spam because you have indicated that this is high on your list of priorities.

I have asked Brian Melendez to serve as the Chair of this Campaign To End Spam and Susan Rego to serve as Secretary of the Campaign To End Spam; Both have graciously accepted the positions.

I am suggesting that the MN DFL take prompt action in bringing the problem of Spam to the attention of Minnesota legislators. A Special Legislative Session on Spam is in order.

Therefore, in order to document the Spam problem, I will be forwarding all the Spam I
receive to Brian Melendez our distinguished Chair, and Susan Rego our bright and brilliant Secretary so that they can make our devoted legislators aware of this problem. I urge all patriotic Americans to do like wise. Brian and Susan are eagerly standing by waiting for your Spam e-mails; they hope to hear from you soon and to hear from you often.

I think Brian and Susan were initially correct in taking up this crusade against Spam even if they did not understand a mass approach to this complex and important problem that is now affecting the lives of so many Americans in so many ways.

Just yesterday I received a phone call from an Internet drug company in Canada asking me if I would like to place a large order for anti-depressants to help me overcome mental anxiety and other problems created by Spam.

This problem of Spam e-mails far out weighs the carnage, killing, death, and destruction taking place in Iraq and the fact that thousands of Minnesotans have no access to health care along with the closing of the Ford Plant in St. Paul or the fact that over 20,000 casino workers in Minnesota continue to be employed in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights under state, federal, or tribal labor laws.

Spam is the number one issue in our country today. I feel very strongly that we need to stop SPAM rather than the robbery taking place at the pumps.

I call upon every patriotic American to be vigilant in the war against Spam, and to take an active part in eradicating Spam which as everyone knows was devised and developed by evil tyrants in all the dark corners of the globe intent on destroying our great bastion of democracy.

I am suggesting that everyone send all their spam e-mail to Brian Melendez and Susan Rego; it is very important they each receive copies of this Spam.

You know; all the porno crap and advertisements for Viagra and Cialis; all the advertising for motorized condoms and sexual lubricants and phone sex services; all the advertising promotions for real-estate in the swamps of Florida and get rich quick penny stock schemes; all the unsolicited e-mails from politicians and political parties begging for money; all the e-mails from Yahoo and Hotmail and Google asking us to buy their services; all the promoters, like Verio, for sales of web sites to promote all of this stuff. Oh, we must not leave out the advertising for "discount" cruises, car rentals, time-shares, and internet gambling… or the promotions for newspapers and magazines or American Flags. also, don't forget all the Spam sent out by the political hacks desperately trying to confuse the American people into believing that when Congress votes to continue funding for this dirty war in Iraq they are really voting to end the war.

Let me assure you that I take this struggle to end spamming very seriously. Hopefully others will, also; and,follow my initiative to forward all the Spam they receive, I stress the word ALL, to Brian Melendez and Susan Rego so they can forward all this Spam on to Minnesota legislators and: CorporateSecretary@yahoo-inc.com

I have asked Brian Meledez and Susan Rego who in the MN DFL Legislative Caucus is taking the lead on this issue so all this Spam can be documented for them through the use of the “Cc” line? I will notify everyone when we find out. I understand bi-partisan consideration is being given to making Mike Hatch and Merritt Clapp-Smith honorary co-chairs of the legislative committees working on this impressive undertaking.

I would also suggest that ALL spam be forwarded to: CorporateSecretary@yahoo-inc.com

You know, I just don’t understand why Yahoo, Inc. is so eager to help put an end to my e-mailing when 90% of the Spam I receive seems to originate from their own business services since it has a Yahoo address. Maybe this has something to do with my message? Or, perhaps the fact that I don’t pay for their services? Anyways, I view my e-mails kind of like leafleting in the New Age of cybering; kind of like Tom Paine viewed his pamphleteering.

If everyone receiving this e-mail will just take the time to hit the “Forward” button every time they receive the Spam I have referred to and send it to Brian and Susan at their e-mail addresses up there in the “To” line” and add the message: We want an end to this dirty war in Iraq and single-payer, universal health care AND SPAM I am sure we will put an end to all this darn dreaded Spam.

I have the utmost confidence that as the leaders of the Summit Hill Club, the DFL Business Caucus, and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, Brian Melendez and Susan Rego will do an excellent job in our Campaign To End Spam.

Say, I have a great idea. What do you say we make Fritz Mondale the poster boy for our anti-SPAM CAMPAIGN? We could take all the SPAM, blow it up, and put Fritz in a Speedo sitting on a beach chair in front of his cave all decorated with the unsolicited Spam he sent out promoting the candidacy of Amy "Republican Lite" Klobuchar.

Thank you, thank you all for your hard work and your tenacity in the struggle to put an end to Spam.

I just hope Hormel does not object to our campaign.

Brian Melendez and Susan Rego will acknowledge in some manner when they have enough of the required documentation for presentation to the legislature. I assume with DFL control of both the Minnesota House and the Senate we will have no problem getting anti Spam legislation before Governor Pawlenty… provided the chair of the Senate committee shows up for hearing and is not out on the drunk.

Please join the CAMPAIGN TO END SPAM...

Send all SPAM by hitting the "Forward" button to the Chair and Secretary:

Chair, Brian Melendez:


Secretary, Susan Rego:


Please copy, post, and forward widely.

Yours in the struggle to end Spam;

Alan L. Maki
Founder, Executive Director, & Treasurer
Campaign To End Spam

Please make all checks payable directly to: Alan L. Maki

Please note: Meyer Tele Services (aka Meyer Associates Inc.) has not been authorized to solicit contributions on behalf of the Campaign To End Spam

Send your contributions directly to:

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763


Phone: 218-386-2432

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Democracy, Yahoo, the FBI and the Democratic Party

Problems with the democratic process within the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party have a very long history going back to when United States Senator Hubert H. Humphrey joined Joseph McCarthy's witch hunting. Humphrey was the primary author of the Communist Control Act... a thought control act. Tens of thousands of people across the United States lost their jobs and livelihoods because Hubert H. Humphrey used his "liberal" credentials in creating the Communist Control Act.

Today, Brian Melendez and Susan Rego, the Chair and the Secretary respectively, of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party are using these same cowardly tactics to try to silence myself and others who are speaking out against this dirty war and for the rights of working people.

Melendez and Rego are very wealthy individuals with backing from Walter Mondale and the Kaplan/Cerisi crowd. Rego is part of the DFL Business Caucus and is closely linked to the well-heeled Summit Hill bunch and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce.

Melendez and Rego have gone crying for help to the FBI in trying to silence me.

Upon Rego providing a letter from Melendez to the FBI, the FBI contacted Yahoo, Inc. about using the filtering system developed by Yahoo, Inc. in China at the request of Wal-mart and other multi-national corporations wanting to crack down on the efforts of Chinese workers to organize against the brutal exploitation they are being subjected to by these multi-national corporations.

In an attempt to squelch this rank and file led labor movement, Yahoo, Inc. developed a filtering system to disrupt worker communications in China.

That same filtering system is now being used here in Minnesota against organizations like the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition and other groups urging people to contact their state legislators. Yahoo, Inc. and Microsoft first made the system available to the DFL State Legislative Caucus in an effort to thwart the movement for single-payer, universal health care.

I received the following e-mail from Susan Rego:

Rego Family wrote:

Hi Alan:

As you can probably guess, there has been a lot of on-list and off-list
discussion about some of your more controversial posts. In particular,
State Central Committee members have objected to allowing attacks on our endorsed candidates and on the government of Israel.

Some have advocated for banning individuals like you who offend.

Others want a process that encourages free thought, but they insist on
respect and civility.

In response to their concerns about your posts attacking Israel, Mike Hatch, Matt Entenza and Amy Klobuchar in referring to her as Amy “Republican Lite” Klobuchar, I have developed the following list-serve policy regarding your posts specifically and have run it by members of the Executive Committee who agree that it is time to restrict your postings on our SCC list. It might be fine-tuned some more, but it will basically look like this:

This discussion group is run by and for state central committee members of
the DFL Party. Its purpose is to foster communication that is beneficial to the goals of the party, as published in our Constitution and other party documents.

By subscribing to this group, you must agree to follow these rules:

1. Sign posts with name and Senate District or county unit

2. Limit posts to two a day

3. Do not republish messages from this list on other lists or sites without the author's permission

4. Do not use this list to attack or question DFL-endorsed candidates or any other member of the Minnesota DFL SCC or our DFL officers.

5. Use language that is respectful. Suggesting Israel is engaged in a “campaign of carnage” and “subjugation of the Palestinian people” will not be tolerated.

After one warning and the violation of any of these rules you will be suspended from the list for one month. Reinstatement will be contingent upon a statement
from you agreeing to follow the rules.

Continued or severe violations will result in permanent removal from the list.

I appreciate your willingness to limit your posts and not "cross-post"
and you have always signed your posts. But I think we can agree that #4
has been problematic. If you can share your ideas without bashing the
candidates and (Israel) that we as a party have chosen to represent us in the
election, you are welcome to continue as a valued member of the list serve.

Susan Rego

As a result of Yahoo, Inc. filtering all of my e-mails to any Yahoo e-mail addresses I have sent the following letter.

Please note: Because of the way Yahoo is using this filter I can not send e-mails to anyone with a yahoo e-mail address without a great deal of difficulty.

The wealthy and well-heeled like Brian Melendez and Susan Rego have never been able to defend their undemocratic activities so they resort to these means and methods to control and manipulate the MN DFL as if this Party was just another piece of their personal property.

Walter Mondale can go on TV and Radio and talk about launching pre-emptive bombing attacks against North Korea and everyone is just supposed to sit in silence as this warmonger prattles on.

Melendez and Rego couldn't control the situation in the DFL any longer and they had to help Mondale crawl out of his cave to try and help them maintain control of the MN DFL in order for sleaze-balls like Hatch, Klobuchar and Cerisi to get nominated.

The time has come for real openness in the MN DFL... this requires all financial records of the MN DFL be disclosed along with the financial records of Meyer Tele Services so we can see how the political process has been controlled by big-money and how money has been improperly used.

This is my letter to Yahoo, Inc.:

To whom it may concern;

I am considering taking legal action against Yahoo, Inc. and any other individuals, corporations, and/or government agencies responsible for interfering in my right to freely communicate my ideas and opinions to those with Yahoo e-mail addresses.

Who is responsible and working in collusion with Yahoo, Inc. in this illegal and unconstitutional endeavor I do not know for sure all parties involved at this time. I do know of at least one individual who has written to Yahoo, Inc. asking that action be taken against me; this is Brian Melendez the Chair of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party of which I am an elected member of the State Central Committee at whose discretion Mr. Melendez serves.

I am part of a caucus, the Democracy Caucus, which is working for the removal of Mr. Melendez as Chair as well as his slate of officers for a variety of reasons, among which is just this undemocratic behavior he is engaged in trying to silence his opposition; and, for financial wrong-doing; including, but not limited to his connections with Meyer Tele Services (also known as: Meyer Associates, Inc.) a firm which has engaged in the illegal practice of working out illegal union agreements known as “sweetheart contracts.”

Workers employed with Meyer Tele Services have engaged my services in representing them in an attempt to get a union contract at the Meyer Tele Services offices in Little Falls, Minnesota and St. Cloud, Minnesota. Let me point out that workers have the right to choose whom they desire to represent their economic and other interests in their place of employment. I have statements, in writing, from employees of Meyer Tele Services requesting my assistance in helping them to attain a union contract. You may have your legal team consult with the Minnesota or U.S. Departments of Labor and/or the NLRB to determine if these employees are within their rights in choosing to have me represent them. I would point out, these employees contacted me, I did not initiate contact with them.

Mr. Melendez, and those supporting this very corrupt political operative has falsely claimed to Yahoo, Inc. that I am involved in the practice known as “spamming.” I do not “spam.” I send e-mail to those who have been elected to positions, in this case the members of the DFL State Central Committee, who have a legal and fiduciary responsibility to see to it that the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party operates within legal boundaries established by state and federal laws. Negotiating “sweetheart” agreements is highly illegal.

Furthermore, I would point out that Chair Melendez approved MN DFL Secretary Susan Rego compiling the e-mail list from which I am working for the explicit purpose of members of the MN DFL State Central Committee to use as I am doing with it… putting forward my ideas, opinions, and suggestions.

If someone does not want to receive my e-mails in spite of the fiduciary responsibilities they knew their positions constituted at the time they opted to run for this position which in fact is a public office, these people on their own initiative may choose to block my e-mails, others who, without their choosing or knowledge, who have yahoo e-mail addresses should not be subjected to not receiving e-mails from me or having their e-mails delayed by yahoo.

I would suggest to Mr. Melendez and his equally undemocratic minded, scheming cohorts that if they can not stand the political heat they are responsible for bringing upon themselves, he--- and they--- should “get out of the kitchen.”

It is not Yahoo, Inc.’s responsibility to control political dialogue and debate by using the charge of “spam” to control the free market of ideas for Americans and people around the world.

Yahoo, Inc. provides its e-mail customers with a very efficient “Delete” button and a very high quality filtering system which can be easily set by any user. For Yahoo, Inc. to arbitrarily give support to a small group of individuals to thwart the democratic process in this manipulative and scheming manner is most likely illegal and unconstitutional… especially when your Corporation takes an action against those who have not requested you to do so.

I would point out that Mr. Melendez, in spite of urging others to complain about my e-mailing practices, he himself accepts my e-mails--- the proof being that he responds to them.

I am attaching several of the “delayed” messages I have received… I am sure if you check with the people who have had their e-mails from me delayed or intercepted you will find many who do not approve of your interference with the democratic process which has always been predicated upon the concept that people are entitled to put their ideas forward in the “great free marketplace of ideas.” I am sure Yahoo, Inc. has some concept of what “free markets” consist of… especially when it comes to the battle of ideas in our modern world.

I would also point out, that Mr. Melendez continues to attack me personally; to which I simply respond… a practice Mr. Melendez doesn’t seem to happy with.

Should you require, or need, more copies of the delayed messages you have caused to be generated, I will be more than happy to provide such.

I have also “Cc’ed” this e-mail to a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union; and “Bcc’ed” it to others with an interest in this matter.

I do expect that Mr. Andrew O’Leary, the Executive Director of the MN DFL Party will instruct its Secretary, Susan Rego, to make this communication available to each and every member of the MN DFL SCC.

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Working Class Studies Association

An open letter: To the participants of “The 2007 Conference of the Working Class Studies Association.”

To find out more about the "Working Class Studies Association" click on the title or check out this link: http://naples.cc.sunysb.edu/CAS/wcm.nsf/pages/wcsa

From: Alan L. Maki

Working people are under attack in this country perhaps like no other time before.

Working people need assistance from the intellectual community of professors and students from community colleges and state universities.

It is important that the distinction between organized labor, its present leadership, and the over all working class is made because very often the present leadership of many unions, and especially the leadership in the national labor federations— the AFL-CIO and Change To Win— do not represent their own members very effectively, let alone the entire working class.

This is evident in many struggles.

Two examples here in Minnesota make this point.

First is the struggle of the more than 20,000 casino workers who are employed in an industry making money hand over fist where these workers go to their jobs in smoke-filled casinos day after day, night after night receiving poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws. The leadership of the Minnesota AFL-CIO sits in deafening silence showing more concern for corrupt and incompetent politicians getting big campaign contributions from the casino managements while ignoring the terrible exploitation and abuse of the most basic and fundamental human rights of casino workers. The Minnesota AFL-CIO and the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party were partners in creating the “Compacts” that gave birth to the casino industry in the first place, which completely ignored the rights of casino workers... the indifference continues over fifteen years later.

The second example we have is the closing of the St. Paul Twin Cities Ford Plant and the issue of who will own the Ford Hydro Electric Dam. The UAW’s National President, Ron Gettelfinger, has not shown his face in the Twin Cities in spite of the fact that thousands of auto-workers over the years have paid dues to the UAW to protect, not only their own interests, but the interests of future generations of working people in this community and state and their right to future employment in this plant.

The local UAW leadership, in spite of having vigorously campaigned for Democratic party candidates over the last fifty years, while previously these auto-workers had been the base and the back-bone of the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, were not even able to convince the MN DFL to pass legislation aimed at saving the plant from demolition and keeping the hydro dam and plant as one... in fact, the local UAW leadership did not even insist on basic and fundamental accountability from the MN DFL by insisting that the DFL Caucus vote as one during the committee process in the state legislature... and, to make a bad situation even worse, the UAW leadership, which had no help from the MN AFL-CIO, refused to insist that a roll-call vote be taken in the legislative committees so there would have been complete accountability so all Minnesota workers, along with the UAW membership, would have been able to identify those politicians opposed to keeping the plant open. This legislation aimed at saving the plant and keeping the plant and hydro dam intact could not have been defeated were it not for DFL opposition, in spite of the MN DFL leadership’s trying to use this issue in their political games... they played a game with the lives of working people and generations of workers to come... and working people are closer to losing as a result.

Suffice it to say, the MN DFL Caucus has a majority in both the State Senate and the State House... and , a majority on the legislative committees in question where legislation to save the plant and hydro dam intact did not even pass the State Senate committee. Even the State legislator from the district where the Ford Plant and union hall are located, Rep. Michael Paymar, who received heavy support from the UAW did not back saving the plant and has campaigned for its demise; and, other MN DFL legislative members who have received financial and other support from the UAW never showed up for Committee meetings they were voting members of. In fact, only two state legislators can account for their votes in support of saving the Ford Plant: State Representative Tom Rukavina and State Senator David Tomassoni... apparently the rest of the DFL Caucus went to lunch at the invitation of their Republican colleagues, the Summit Hill Club, DFL Business Caucus, and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce while the votes were being taken.

The issue of saving the Ford Plant is not one for UAW leaders like UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and the local UAW leadership to decide alone as they arrogantly think they have the right to do. Obviously, the membership of this UAW local is fully in support of keeping this plant and the hydro dam intact and operating. Why hasn’t the Local’s leadership broached the issue of Public Ownership of the Ford Plant and Hydro Dam with its own membership? This becomes a very serious and troubling question requiring some answers. Why didn’t the UAW Local’s leadership insist on accountability from the MN DFL Legislative Caucus? Again, a very troubling question requiring some answers.

This becomes a community and statewide issue for all working people, and the larger society, to participate in the decision making process as to what will be the future of the Ford Plant and Hydro Dam. Time is short, much research needs to be done; a legal challenge needs to be mounted to halt the sale of the Hydro Dam; a community and state-wide fight-back on every level needs to be mounted... the State Legislature needs to be convinced to revisit this issue without haste; the struggle needs to be taken into the communities and into the streets as 40,000 workers were recently mobilized in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in opposition to the effects of capitalist globalization on their community; an alternative political agenda needs to be developed outside the frame-work of the MN DFL since it is unwilling to respond to these needs of working people that go well beyond this issue of the plant closing and right to the heart of what democracy is really all about; are working people mere observers to a political process that determines their future for them in a way that drives down the standard of living of the working class— this is a multi-faceted “class” issue. In fact, a text book explaining for working people the true nature of capitalism and globalization could be written around this very issue.

Working people in Minnesota now have a long list of grievances which academia needs to consider, assess, and become involved in; including:

* The need to repeal at will hiring, at will firing which is the major obstacle to union organizing in Minnesota... an issue the MN AFL-CIO and Change to Win continue to refuse to address— card check can not even over-come this hurdle to union organizing;

* The need for a minimum wage that is a real living wage, where the minimum wage is tied directly to the calculations of the United States Department of Labor and Minnesota Department of Labor— why pay all these university educated statisticians and researchers employed by the Departments of Labor if their findings are ignored, a question that needs to be explored and answered by working people in conjunction with professors and students;

* Ending the right of employers to challenge unemployment claims without having to state a reason;

* Predatory lending... home foreclosures are rising rapidly, this is an outright rip-off of the wealth of working people who have paid for their homes with exorbitant interest rates many times over. The need to consider a State Bank financed with union pension funds is now in order as the mortgage banking industry is ripping off working people in the same manner the Wall Street coupon clippers have been ripping off the union pension funds for years as union “leaders” have bought into the capitalist system rather than opposing capitalism as most union leaders do around the world including in Canada;

* The robbery at the pumps... many workers now need second and third jobs just to pay for gas to get to their first job. Socialist governors Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson were right in saying that working people would pay a heavy price in the future for failing to bring the energy industries under public ownership and control. We need to consider this option now, especially in view of global warming;

* Winning single-payer, universal health care... so far the labor movement has only paid lip-service to this issue, having failed to fully mobilize the membership. As we have seen from how the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party played working people for fools on the issue of the Ford Plant, they are now prepared to betray working people on the issue of single-payer, universal health care. In fact, the leadership of organized labor is acquiescing to the MN DFL in much the same way the MN DFL has acquiesced to the Republicans on every issue impacting working people;

* Ending the war in Iraq... organized labor in Minnesota has failed to actively participate in the peace movement and has continued to support reactionary Democratic politicians like United States Congressperson Collin Peterson who makes the boast that he is more conservative than any Republican in Minnesota. A leader of the AFL-CIO actually nominated the ultra-conservative, ultra-reactionary Collin Peterson.

Working people, the few who remain union members, and the entire working class, face these and other very serious problems requiring urgent action. Liberals, progressives, radicals, socialists, communists, and anarchists in the intellectual community--- professors, instructors, adjuncts, and students--- need to understand the urgency, which at this time does not exist, of the present situation confronting working people as they are attacked from every direction and are being used to attack others as is the case with the Iraq war.

For a community that has so many colleges and universities as in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area we need to take a good hard look at why the intellectual community and all the resources at its disposal have not been brought into any of these struggles.

For a long time I have been suggesting that what is required is a network of Worker Resource Centers throughout Minnesota that would:

* teach workers organizing skills;

* teach labor history;

* serve as art and cultural centers for workers to show-case their talents;

* allow working people places to gather and discuss their problems;

* provide the tools to empower working people to become full participants in the political and decision making processes;

* most importantly, become centers for rank and file led and initiated organizing efforts that will once again involve entire communities in building the needed networks of solidarity which make union organizing campaigns successful... the issues surrounding undocumented workers and casino workers demonstrate just how desperate the need is.

* these Centers would be a place for working people to come together over problems in both their communities and at work.

* the creation of a network of Worker Resource Centers would be the obvious project for a “Working Class Studies Association” to undertake.

There is nothing new in this concept of Worker Resource Centers. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUP-W) has been experimenting with such centers... the organizers of the steel workers, the auto workers, the electrical workers and other basic industrial and public sector unions employed various versions of such centers in their successful organizing campaigns. That most union organizing drives are not turned into organizing campaigns launched from such Centers and end up without success is a call to re-try this approach.

The UAW members at the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant are at a great disadvantage in not having a strong rank and file organization that could have effectively come to the forefront to fight-back to save this plant... the intellectual community should gather quickly in getting together with Ford Workers and community members to plan a fight-back to save this plant... whether or not the local and international UAW “approves” of, or participates in, such an approach; hopefully they would get the message they are welcome to join in.

A joint UAW-Ford-MnScu Training center is integrally connected to the Twin Cities Ford Plant... both physically and as a part of the industrial complex. It is absolutely mind-boggling that the issue of Public Ownership and rank and file activism have not been class-room topics, which calls into question just what kind of, or more properly, the lack of education workers are receiving.
If the national and local union leaderships want to continue to sit on their hands and accept the dictates of the Ford Motor Company and the refusal of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party to undertake the required fight-back to save this Plant, then the rest of us have a responsibility to work without them to make the effort and attempt to save over two-thousand good paying jobs; and, an important plant which has become an essential part of maintaining an industrial manufacturing base in Minnesota.

There are no excuses for not putting up a struggle... and working people and the intellectual community need to come together quickly— we each have essential skills important to a victory on these and the other issues I have cited— and beyond.

This national conference of working class educators has a responsibility to take a good hard look at the issue of the future of the Ford Plant closing and the plight of casino workers and figure out how its work can assist these struggles of working people. It is such struggles that require immediate attention and the issues can not be studied to death to decide if action is required... study must take place as an integral part of these day to day struggles of working people lest we end up studying why successful struggles were not mounted.

The concept of Public Ownership of essential industries and financial institutions needs to be actively discussed in the class-rooms and beyond... on the shop floors and in working class communities. It is both naive and far-fetched to believe that a rotten capitalist system that has bred so many problems will now somehow miraculously solve these problems. This conference has by and large challenged the capitalist system and its advanced state of globalization, or imperialism; however, the cooperative system of socialism was seldom talked about as a solution and alternative to capitalism.

In the workshop on Native Americans and class, the casino industry was not even mentioned by those on the panel even though the casino industry is by far the largest industry employing Native Americans today... again, this lack of discussion on this issue was probably due to a fear of broaching the subject.

Clearly, the entire topic of genocide against Native Americans needs to have a far wider discussion among professors and students as this five-hundred year campaign of genocide is not understood as a component of, and “special feature”of, capitalism as this continent was conquered with this campaign of genocide continuing today as hundreds of thousands of Native Americans are shoved into the casino industry because there are few other job opportunities; the casino industry is one of the filthiest industries in America, ruled over by organized crime, where workers are employed in smoke-filled casinos as Minnesota’s legislators have approved “Freedom to Breath” legislation to protect all other workers except for casino workers... women of child bearing age who make up a very large segment of the casino industry suffer the worst health consequences of this second-hand smoke. For the university community to continue to ignore the plight of casino workers is a reflection of everything that is wrong in academia today... from racism to a moribund capitalist system where working people are treated with complete contempt. The lack of attention to this problem by academia has led to political parties like the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party escaping its responsibilities to casino workers.

At this conference, red-baiting was not thoroughly discussed from a historical perspective, or from the perspective of how red-baiting is related to the serious problems in organized labor today... there were even some very erroneous ideas put forward that the Communist Party USA supported Harry Truman when nothing could be further from the truth. On the positive side there was some mention of red-baiting and the need to oppose it as well as its disastrous results we are living with today.

All in all, this was a most welcome conference and hopefully the organizers will find a way to correct some of the short-comings; most notably, when a conference like this is held there should be a focus on specific local, state, regional, national, and international issues with a sense of urgency in lending support to the struggles of working people.

Conference organizers and participants along with those who attended this conference on Working Class Studies missed out on what would have been a very good opportunity to bring forward the issues of the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and the plight of casino workers; both issues would have provided a means to “measure” how quickly and effectively working class studies are being integrated into the class struggle.

I don’t think the university community of professors and students understands the urgency of such issues for working people... research is still being treated as a way of looking back at history, which is all fine and good in helping us draw conclusions to assist the struggles taking place in our times; but, this too is still lacking as current struggles don’t receive the required and needed assistance from academia.

We should all understand the fundamental need to bring labor and the academic community into a working relationship; this is as it should be.

With these criticisms in mind, it is very important for working people to understand the role, and need for, working class education at all levels in the educational system which all too often completely ignores the needs of working people for a working class based education. The organizers of this conference are to be highly commended for taking the time to organize these bi-annual conferences. It is a shame more unions in Minnesota did not take the time to involve their memberships and leaderships in this important conference that really reflected and highlighted how international the working class and its struggles for peace and social justice are.

Organized labor, specifically the Minnesota AFL-CIO and Change To Win affiliates, really missed an important opportunity here... but then again, this is a reflection of the over-all problems in organized labor and its continued resistance to rank and file initiatives. In fact, this “Working Class Studies Association” is a rank and file initiative in its own right... of educators who understand they are first, and foremost, working people; many who are from the ranks of the working class..

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Red Lake Casino, Hotel, and Restaurant Employees’ Union Organizing Committee


Member, Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432

Monday, June 11, 2007

H.R. 2522; Single-payer, universal health care

Please post and distribute widely…all media should be notified as should all supporters of single-payer, universal health care without consideration to political affiliation:

I think it is incumbent upon the DFL leadership to inform the entire DFL Party including the members of the MN DFL State Central Committee of the time and place of the hearing and encourage full participation; also, all unions should be notified.

The first hearing on H.R. 2522 will be held in Mankato on June 12, 2007.

From now on there should be timely notification by the DFL leadership of all hearings, committee meetings, and votes as this legislation progresses through the legislative process in both the Minnesota House and Senate in keeping with the resolution in support of single-payer, universal health care at the State Convention and the overwhelming, wide-spread support demonstrated in precinct caucuses.

This legislation--- H.F. 2522--- has been introduced in the Minnesota House by the following members:

Tschumper; Liebling; Doty; Anzelc; Greiling; Bly; Jaros; Norton; Otremba; Mariani; Ward; Laine; Hausman; Madore; Wagenius; Clark; Carlson; Kahn; Slocum; Paymar; Hornstein; Eken; Peterson, A.; Murphy, E.; Hilty; Tillberry; Johnson; Dominguez; Walker; Sailer; Thao and Lesch.

Senator John Marty is the Senate sponsor.

Contact your State Legislator immediately concerning this legislation... make sure she/he is in support.

This legislation reflects the sentiment of the 72% of the DFL State Convention delegates who voted to endorse “single-payer, universal health care.”

Of utmost importance is that roll-call votes be taken as this legislation makes its way through the legislative process so all legislators can be held accountable… none of this “all in favor,” “all opposed” stuff… we need full accountability to know that all members of the DFL Caucus are voting as instructed by the delegates from the DFL State Convention… this is their mandate.

Committee Chairs in both the House and Senate should call for a roll-call vote and the names recorded by the committee secretaries how individual legislators vote.

The Full and Complete Text of

H.R. 2522

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

1.1 A bill for an act

1.2 relating to health; guaranteeing that all necessary health care is available and

1.3 affordable for every Minnesotan; establishing the Minnesota Health Care

1.4 Plan; requiring a report; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes

1.5 2006, sections 15.01; 15.06, subdivision 1; 15A.0815, subdivision 2; 43A.08,

1.6 subdivision 1a; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter

1.7 62U.





1.12 In order to develop a plan that keeps Minnesotans healthy and provides the best

1.13 quality of health care, the Minnesota health care plan must:

1.14 (1) ensure all Minnesotans receive high quality health care, regardless of their

1.15 income;

1.16 (2) not restrict or deny care or reduce the quality of care to hold down costs, but

1.17 instead reduce costs through prevention, efficiency, and reduction of bureaucracy;

1.18 (3) cover all necessary care, including all coverage currently required by law,

1.19 complete mental health services, chemical dependency treatment, prescription drugs,

1.20 medical equipment and supplies, dental care, longterm

care, and home care services;

1.21 (4) allow patients to choose their own providers;

1.22 (5) be funded through premiums and other payments based on the person's ability

1.23 to pay, so as not to deny full access to all Minnesotans;

1.24 (6) focus on preventive care and early intervention to improve the health of all

1.25 Minnesotans and reduce costs from untreated illnesses and diseases;

Article 1 Section 1. 1

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(7) ensure an adequate number of qualified health care professionals 2.1 and facilities to

2.2 guarantee availability of, and timely access to quality care throughout the state;

2.3 (8) continue Minnesota's leadership in medical education, training, research, and

2.4 technology; and

2.5 (9) provide adequate and timely payments to providers.

2.6 Sec. 2. [62U.02] GENERAL PROVISIONS.

2.7 Subdivision 1. Short title. Chapter 62U may be cited as the "Minnesota Health

2.8 Care Act."

2.9 Subd. 2. Establishment; date of operation. The Minnesota health care plan is

2.10 established, which shall be administered by the Minnesota Health Care Agency, an agency

2.11 under the administration of the commissioner of health care. The Minnesota health care

2.12 plan must be operational within two years from the date of enactment of this chapter.

2.13 Subd. 3. Prohibition. No health plan, as defined in section 62Q.01, subdivision

2.14 3, except for the Minnesota health care plan, may be sold in Minnesota for services

2.15 provided by the plan.

2.16 Subd. 4. Purpose. To meet the requirements in section 62U.01 This chapter shall:

2.17 (1) provide affordable coverage for all necessary health care with a single standard

2.18 of care for all Minnesota residents;

2.19 (2) control health care costs and the growth of health care spending, subject to the

2.20 obligation described in clause (1);

2.21 (3) achieve measurable improvement in the quality of care and the efficiency of

2.22 care delivery;

2.23 (4) prevent disease and disability and maintain or improve health and functionality;

2.24 (5) increase health care provider, consumer, employee, and employer satisfaction

2.25 with the health care plan; and

2.26 (6) implement policies that strengthen and improve culturally and linguistically

2.27 competent care.

2.28 Subd. 5. Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings

2.29 provided:

2.30 (a) "Agency" means the Minnesota Health Care Agency.

2.31 (b) "Board" means the Health Care Policy Board.

2.32 (c) "Clinic" means an organized outpatient health facility that provides direct

2.33 medical, surgical, dental, psychological, mental health, optometric, or podiatric advice,

2.34 services, or treatment to patients who remain less than 24 hours, and that may also provide

Article 1 Sec. 2. 2

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

diagnostic or therapeutic services to patients in the home as an alternative 3.1 to care provided

3.2 at the clinic facility.

3.3 (c) "Commissioner" means the health care commissioner.

3.4 (d) "Direct care provider" means any licensed health care professional that provides

3.5 health care services through direct contact with the patient, either in person or using

3.6 approved telemedicine modalities.

3.7 (e) "Essential provider" means a health facility that has served as part of the state's

3.8 health care safety net for low income and traditionally underserved populations in

3.9 Minnesota and one that is:

3.10 (1) a "community clinic";

3.11 (2) a "free clinic";

3.12 (3) a "federally qualified health center" as defined under United States Code, title 42,

3.13 section 1395x (aa)(4) or (1396d) (1)(2);

3.14 (4) a "rural health clinic" as defined under United States Code, title 42, section

3.15 1395x (aa)(2) or 1396d (l)(1);

3.16 (5) any clinic conducted, maintained, or operated by a federally recognized Indian

3.17 tribe or tribal organization, as defined in United States Code, title 25, section 1603; or

3.18 (6) any clinic that is operated by a primary care community or free clinic and that

3.19 is operated on separate premises from the licensed clinic and is only open for limited

3.20 services of no more than 20 hours per week.

3.21 (f) "Health care provider" means any professional person, medical group,

3.22 independent practice association, organization, health facility, or other person or institution

3.23 licensed or authorized by the state to deliver or furnish health care services.

3.24 (g) "Health facility" means any facility, place, or building that is organized,

3.25 maintained, and operated for the diagnosis, care, prevention, and treatment of human

3.26 illness, physical or mental, including convalescence and rehabilitation, including care

3.27 during and after pregnancy, and including skilled nursing care and hospice.

3.28 (h) "Hospital" means all health facilities to which persons may be admitted for a

3.29 24hour

stay or longer and that are licensed under section 144.50. Hospital does not

3.30 include a nursing, skilled nursing, intermediate care, or congregate living health facility.

3.31 (i) "Integrated health care delivery system" means a provider organization that:

3.32 (1) is fully integrated operationally and clinically to provide a broad range of health

3.33 care services, including preventative care, prenatal and wellbaby

care, immunizations,

3.34 screening diagnostics, emergency services, hospital and medical services, surgical

3.35 services, and ancillary services;

Article 1 Sec. 2. 3

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(2) is compensated using capitation or facility budgets, for 4.1 the provision of health

4.2 care services; and

4.3 (3) provides health care services primarily through direct care providers who are

4.4 either employees or partners of the organization, or through arrangements with direct

4.5 care providers or one or more groups of physicians, organized on a group practice or

4.6 individual practice basis.

4.7 (j) "Large employer" means a person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation,

4.8 partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service,

4.9 that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar year

4.10 employed at least 50 employees, or, if the employer was not in business during any part

4.11 of the preceding calendar year, employed at least 50 employees on at least 50 percent of

4.12 its working days during the preceding calendar quarter.

4.13 (k) "Primary care provider" means a direct care provider that is a family physician,

4.14 internist, general practitioner, pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, or an advance

4.15 practice nurse practitioner, or physician assistant practicing under required supervision, or

4.16 essential providers who employ primary care providers.

4.17 (l) "Small employer" means a person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation,

4.18 partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service

4.19 and that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar year

4.20 employed at least two but no more than 49 employees, or, if the employer was not in

4.21 business during any part of the preceding calendar year, employed at least two but no

4.22 more than 40 eligible employees on at least 50 percent of its working days during the

4.23 preceding calendar quarter.

4.24 Subd. 6. Transition to new plan. (a) The transition shall be funded from a loan

4.25 from the general fund and from other sources, including private sources identified by

4.26 the commissioner.

4.27 (b) The commissioner shall assess other health plans and insurers for care provided

4.28 by the state plan in those cases in which a person's health care coverage extends into the

4.29 time period in which the new plan is operative.

4.30 (c) The commissioner shall assist persons who are displaced from employment as a

4.31 result of the initiation of the health care plan, including determining the period of time

4.32 during which assistance shall be provided and identifying sources of funds, including

4.33 dislocated worker program funds and health insurance funds, to support retraining and

4.34 job placement. That support shall be provided for a period of up to five years from the

4.35 date that this chapter becomes effective.

Article 1 Sec. 2. 4

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189


5.2 Subdivision 1. State agency established. The Minnesota Health Care Agency is

5.3 established and is the state agency with full authority to supervise every phase of the

5.4 administration of the Minnesota health care plan and to receive grantsinaid

made by

5.5 federal or state government, or by other sources in order to secure full compliance with the

5.6 applicable provisions of state and federal law.

5.7 Subd. 2. Agency. The Minnesota Health Care Agency shall be comprised of the

5.8 following entities:

5.9 (1) the Health Care Policy Board;

5.10 (2) the Office of Health Quality and Planning; and

5.11 (3) the fund for health care.

5.12 ARTICLE 2


5.14 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 15.01, is amended to read:


5.16 The following agencies are designated as the departments of the state government:

5.17 the Department of Administration; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of

5.18 Commerce; the Department of Corrections; the Department of Education; the Department

5.19 of Employment and Economic Development; the Department of Finance; the Department

5.20 of Health; the Health Care Agency; the Department of Human Rights; the Department

5.21 of Labor and Industry; the Department of Military Affairs; the Department of Natural

5.22 Resources; the Department of Employee Relations; the Department of Public Safety;

5.23 the Department of Human Services; the Department of Revenue; the Department of

5.24 Transportation; the Department of Veterans Affairs; and their successor departments.

5.25 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 15.06, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

5.26 Subdivision 1. Applicability. This section applies to the following departments

5.27 or agencies: the Departments of Administration, Agriculture, Commerce, Corrections,

5.28 Education, Employee Relations, Employment and Economic Development, Finance,

5.29 Health, Human Rights, Labor and Industry, Natural Resources, Public Safety, Human

5.30 Services, Revenue, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the Health Care, the Housing

5.31 Finance, and Pollution Control Agencies; the Office of Commissioner of Iron Range

5.32 Resources and Rehabilitation; the Bureau of Mediation Services; and their successor

5.33 departments and agencies. The heads of the foregoing departments or agencies are

5.34 "commissioners."

Article 2 Sec. 2. 5

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

6.1 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 15A.0815, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

6.2 Subd. 2. Group I salary limits. The salaries for positions in this subdivision may

6.3 not exceed 95 percent of the salary of the governor:

6.4 Commissioner of administration;

6.5 Commissioner of agriculture;

6.6 Commissioner of education;

6.7 Commissioner of commerce;

6.8 Commissioner of corrections;

6.9 Commissioner of employee relations;

6.10 Commissioner of finance;

6.11 Commissioner of health;

6.12 Commissioner of health care;

6.13 Executive director, Minnesota Office of Higher Education;

6.14 Commissioner, Housing Finance Agency;

6.15 Commissioner of human rights;

6.16 Commissioner of human services;

6.17 Commissioner of labor and industry;

6.18 Commissioner of natural resources;

6.19 Director of Office of Strategic and LongRange


6.20 Commissioner, Pollution Control Agency;

6.21 Commissioner of public safety;

6.22 Commissioner of revenue;

6.23 Commissioner of employment and economic development;

6.24 Commissioner of transportation; and

6.25 Commissioner of veterans affairs.

6.26 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 43A.08, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:

6.27 Subd. 1a. Additional unclassified positions. Appointing authorities for the

6.28 following agencies may designate additional unclassified positions according to this

6.29 subdivision: the Departments of Administration; Agriculture; Commerce; Corrections;

6.30 Education; Employee Relations; Employment and Economic Development; Explore

6.31 Minnesota Tourism; Finance; Health; Health Care Agency; Human Rights; Labor and

6.32 Industry; Natural Resources; Public Safety; Human Services; Revenue; Transportation;

6.33 and Veterans Affairs; the Housing Finance and Pollution Control Agencies; the State

6.34 Lottery; the State Board of Investment; the Office of Administrative Hearings; the Offices

6.35 of the Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Auditor; the Minnesota State

Article 2 Sec. 4. 6

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

7.1 Colleges and Universities; the Minnesota Office of Higher Education; the Perpich Center

7.2 for Arts Education; and the Minnesota Zoological Board.

7.3 A position designated by an appointing authority according to this subdivision must

7.4 meet the following standards and criteria:

7.5 (1) the designation of the position would not be contrary to other law relating

7.6 specifically to that agency;

7.7 (2) the person occupying the position would report directly to the agency head or

7.8 deputy agency head and would be designated as part of the agency head's management

7.9 team;

7.10 (3) the duties of the position would involve significant discretion and substantial

7.11 involvement in the development, interpretation, and implementation of agency policy;

7.12 (4) the duties of the position would not require primarily personnel, accounting, or

7.13 other technical expertise where continuity in the position would be important;

7.14 (5) there would be a need for the person occupying the position to be accountable to,

7.15 loyal to, and compatible with, the governor and the agency head, the employing statutory

7.16 board or commission, or the employing constitutional officer;

7.17 (6) the position would be at the level of division or bureau director or assistant

7.18 to the agency head; and

7.19 (7) the commissioner has approved the designation as being consistent with the

7.20 standards and criteria in this subdivision.


7.22 Subdivision 1. Commissioner. (a) The commissioner shall be appointed by the

7.23 governor on or before January 1, 2009.

7.24 (b) The commissioner shall not have been employed in any capacity by a forprofit

7.25 insurance, pharmaceutical, or medical equipment company that sells products to the

7.26 Minnesota health care plan for a period of ten years prior to appointment as commissioner.

7.27 (c) For ten years after ending service in the Minnesota health care plan, the

7.28 commissioner may not receive payments of any kind from, or be employed in any capacity

7.29 or act as a paid consultant to, a forprofit

insurance, pharmaceutical, or medical equipment

7.30 company that sells products to the Minnesota health care plan.

7.31 Subd. 2. Duties. (a) The commissioner shall administer all aspects of the Minnesota

7.32 Health Care Agency.

7.33 (b) The commissioner shall carry out the specific duties assigned under this chapter

7.34 and other laws related to health care, and shall enforce the execution of those provisions

7.35 and laws. The commissioner's powers and duties include, but are not limited to, the power

Article 2 Sec. 5. 7

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

to establish the Minnesota health care plan budget and to set rates; 8.1 to establish Minnesota

8.2 health care plan goals, standards, and priorities; to hire, fire, and fix the compensation of

8.3 agency personnel; to make allocations and reallocations to the health planning regions;

8.4 and to promulgate rules concerning matters related to the implementation of this chapter.

8.5 (c) The commissioner shall appoint the director of the fund for health care and the

8.6 director of Health Quality and Planning.

8.7 (d) The administration of the agency shall be supported from the fund for health

8.8 care created under section 62U.19.

8.9 (e) In order to avoid the appearance of political bias or impropriety, the commissioner

8.10 shall not engage in leadership of, or employment by, a political party or a political

8.11 organization; public endorsement of a political candidate; contribution of more than $100

8.12 to any one candidate in a calendar year or contributions in excess of an aggregate of

8.13 $1,000 in a calendar year for all political parties or organizations; and activities attempting

8.14 to avoid compliance with this paragraph by making contributions through a spouse

8.15 or other family member.

8.16 Subd. 3. Oversight. The commissioner shall:

8.17 (a) oversee the establishment of:

8.18 (1) the Health Care Policy Board, under section 62U.05;

8.19 (2) the Ombudsman Office of Patient Advocacy, under section 62U.09;

8.20 (3) the Office of Health Quality and Planning, under section 62U.45; and

8.21 (4) the fund for health care, under section 62U.19;

8.22 (b) determine Minnesota health care plan goals, standards, guidelines, and priorities;

8.23 (c) oversee the establishment of locally based integrated service networks that

8.24 include physicians in feeforservice,

solo and group practice, essential providers, and

8.25 ancillary care providers and facilities in order to pool and align resources and form

8.26 interdisciplinary teams that share responsibility and accountability for patient care and

8.27 provide a continuum of coordinated highquality

primary to tertiary care to all Minnesota

8.28 residents which shall be accomplished in collaboration with the director of health

8.29 planning, the regional planning boards, and the patient advocate;

8.30 (d) establish standards based on clinical efficacy to guide delivery of care;

8.31 (e) implement policies to ensure that all Minnesotans receive culturally and

8.32 linguistically competent care, according to section 62U.45, subdivision 2, and develop

8.33 mechanisms and incentives to achieve this purpose and monitor the effectiveness of

8.34 these efforts;

Article 2 Sec. 5. 8

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(f) create a systematic approach to the measurement, management, 9.1 and accountability

9.2 for care quality that ensures the delivery of highquality

care to all Minnesota residents,

9.3 including a system of performance contracts that contain measurable goals and outcomes;

9.4 (g) establish a capital management framework and plan for the Minnesota health care

9.5 plan, including, but not limited to, a standardized process and format for the development

9.6 and submission of regional operating and regional capital budget requests to ensure the

9.7 needs for health care capital infrastructure are met according to the goals of the plan;

9.8 (h) ensure the establishment of policies not governed by the Department of Health

9.9 that promote public health;

9.10 (i) ensure that health care plan policies and providers support all Minnesotans in

9.11 achieving and maintaining maximum physical and mental health and functionality;

9.12 (j) establish a means to identify areas of medical practice where standards of care do

9.13 not exist and establish priorities and a timetable for their development;

9.14 (k) establish a comprehensive budget that ensures adequate funding to meet the

9.15 health care needs of the state's population and the compensation for providers for care

9.16 provided according to this chapter;

9.17 (l) establish standards and criteria for allocation of operating and capital funds from

9.18 the fund for health care as described in sections 62U.19 and 62U.35;

9.19 (m) establish standards and criteria for development and submission of provider

9.20 operating and capital budget requests;

9.21 (n) determine the level of funding to be allocated to each health care region;

9.22 (o) annually assess projected revenues and expenditures to ensure financial solvency

9.23 of the plan;

9.24 (p) during the transition and annually thereafter, determine the appropriate level for

9.25 a health care plan reserve fund and implement policies needed to establish the appropriate

9.26 reserve;

9.27 (q) institute necessary cost controls according to section 62U.19, subdivision 3,

9.28 to ensure financial solvency of the plan;

9.29 (r) develop separate formulas for budget allocations and review the formulas

9.30 annually to ensure they address disparities in service availability and health care outcomes

9.31 and for sufficiency of reimbursement;

9.32 (s) annually review the impact of the agency and its policies on the health of the

9.33 population and on satisfaction with the Minnesota health care plan;

9.34 (t) negotiate payment for any aspect of the Minnesota health care plan and establish

9.35 necessary payment procedures;

Article 2 Sec. 5. 9

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(u) establish a formulary based on clinical efficacy and cost for 10.1 all prescription drugs

10.2 and medical equipment for use by the Minnesota health care plan;

10.3 (v) establish guidelines for prescribing medications, nutritional supplements, and

10.4 medical equipment that are not included in the health care formularies;

10.5 (w) negotiate price discounts for prescription drugs and medical equipment for use

10.6 by the Minnesota health care plan;

10.7 (x) create incentives and guidelines for research needed to meet health care plan

10.8 goals;

10.9 (y) implement eligibility standards for the system, including guidelines to prevent an

10.10 influx of persons to the state for the purpose of obtaining medical care;

10.11 (z) determine an appropriate level of, and provide support during the transition for,

10.12 training and job placement for persons who are displaced from employment as a result of

10.13 the initiation of the new Minnesota health care plan;

10.14 (aa) establish an enrollment system that ensures all eligible Minnesota residents are

10.15 aware of their right to health care and are formally enrolled;

10.16 (bb) oversee the establishment of the system for resolution of disputes according

10.17 to section 62U.53;

10.18 (cc) establish an electronic claims and payments system for the Minnesota health

10.19 care plan, to which all claims shall be filed and from which all payments shall be made,

10.20 and implement standardized claims and reporting methods;

10.21 (dd) establish a technology advisory committee to evaluate the cost and effectiveness

10.22 of new medical technology;

10.23 (ee) ensure that consumers of health care have access to information needed to

10.24 support choice of provider;

10.25 (ff) collaborate with the agencies that license health facilities to ensure that facility

10.26 performance is monitored and that deficient practices are recognized and corrected in a

10.27 timely fashion and that consumers and providers of health care have access to information

10.28 to support choice of facility;

10.29 (gg) establish a health care Web site that provides information to the public about

10.30 the Minnesota health care plan including information on providers and facilities, and that

10.31 informs the public about state and regional health care policy board meetings and activities;

10.32 (hh) establish a process for the system to receive the concerns, opinions, ideas, and

10.33 recommendations of the public regarding all aspects of the plan; and

10.34 (ii) annually report to the legislature on the performance of the Minnesota health care

10.35 plan, its fiscal condition and need for payment adjustments, recommendations for statutory

10.36 changes, receipt of payments from the federal government and other sources, whether

Article 2 Sec. 5. 10

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

current year goals and priorities are met, future goals and priorities, 11.1 major new technology

11.2 or prescription drugs, and other circumstances that may affect the cost of health care.

11.3 Subd. 4. Rulemaking. The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 to

11.4 implement the provisions of this chapter.

11.5 Subd. 5. Budget preparation. (a) The commissioner shall annually prepare a health

11.6 care plan budget that includes all expenditures, specifies a limit on total annual state

11.7 expenditures, and establishes allocations for each health care region that shall cover a

11.8 threeyear

period and that shall be disbursed on a quarterly basis.

11.9 (b) The commissioner shall limit the growth of spending on a statewide and on a

11.10 regional basis, by reference to average growth in state domestic product across multiple

11.11 years, population growth, actuarial demographics and other demographic indicators,

11.12 differences in regional costs of living, advances in technology and their anticipated

11.13 adoption into the benefit plan, improvements in efficiency of administration and care

11.14 delivery, improvements in the quality of care, and projected future state domestic product

11.15 growth rates.

11.16 (c) The commissioner shall project health care plan revenues and expenditures

11.17 for three and ten years.

11.18 (d) The commissioner shall annually convene a health care plan revenue and

11.19 expenditure conference to discuss revenue and expenditure projections and future

11.20 health care plan policy directions and initiatives, including means to lower the cost of

11.21 administration, improve management of and investment in capital assets, and improve the

11.22 quality of care and health care management.

11.23 Sec. 6. [62U.05] HEALTH CARE POLICY BOARD.

11.24 (a) The commissioner shall establish a health care policy board and shall serve as

11.25 the president of the board.

11.26 (b) The board shall:

11.27 (1) establish health care plan goals and priorities, including research and capital

11.28 investment priorities;

11.29 (2) establish the scope of services that will be funded;

11.30 (3) establish guidelines for evaluating the performance of the health care plan, health

11.31 care plan officers, health care regions, and health care providers;

11.32 (4) establish guidelines for ensuring public input on health care plan policy,

11.33 standards, and goals; and

11.34 (5) the Health Care Policy Board shall establish standards of care based on clinical

11.35 efficacy for the health care plan which shall serve as guidelines to support providers in the

Article 2 Sec. 6. 11

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

delivery of highquality

care. Standards shall be based on the best 12.1 evidence available at

12.2 the time and shall be continually updated. Standards are intended to support the clinical

12.3 judgment of individual providers, not to replace it, and to support clinical decisions based

12.4 on the needs of individual patients.

12.5 (c) The board shall consist of the following members:

12.6 (1) the commissioner;

12.7 (2) five providers appointed by the commissioner including one primary care

12.8 physician, one registered nurse, one mental health provider, one dentist, and one longterm

12.9 care provider;

12.10 (3) four patient advocates, two appointed by the speaker of the house and two

12.11 appointed by the chair of the senate Committee on Rules and Administration;

12.12 (4) the director of Health Quality and Planning; and

12.13 (5) a representative from each regional planning board appointed by the regional

12.14 board.


12.16 (a) The Ombudsman Office for Patient Advocacy is created to represent the interests

12.17 of the consumers of health care. The goal of the ombudsman shall be to help residents

12.18 of the state secure the health care services and benefits to which they are entitled under

12.19 the laws administered by the department and to advocate on behalf of and represent the

12.20 interests of consumers in governance bodies created by this chapter and in other forums.

12.21 (b) The ombudsman shall be a patient advocate appointed by the governor.

12.22 The budget for the ombudsman's office shall be determined by the legislature and is

12.23 independent from the Health Care Agency which has no oversight or authority over the

12.24 ombudsman for patient advocacy. The ombudsman shall establish offices throughout

12.25 the state that shall provide convenient access to residents. The ombudsman for patient

12.26 advocacy shall:

12.27 (1) ensure that patient advocacy services are available to all Minnesota residents;

12.28 (2) establish and maintain the grievance process according to section 62U.53;

12.29 (3) receive, evaluate, and respond to consumer complaints about the health care plan;

12.30 (4) provide a means to receive recommendations from the public about ways to

12.31 improve the health care plan and hold public hearings at least annually to discuss problems

12.32 and receive recommendations from the public;

12.33 (5) develop educational and informational guides according to section 15.441, for

12.34 consumers describing consumer rights and responsibilities and inform consumers about

12.35 the right to secure health care services and to participate in the health care plan. The

Article 2 Sec. 7. 12

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

guides shall be made available to the public by the ombudsman, 13.1 including access on

13.2 the ombudsman's Web site and through public outreach and educational programs and

13.3 displayed in provider offices and health care facilities;

13.4 (6) establish a tollfree

telephone number to receive complaints regarding the health

13.5 care plan and its services; and

13.6 (7) report annually to the public, the commissioner, and the legislature about

13.7 the consumer perspective on the performance of the health care plan, including

13.8 recommendations for needed improvements.

13.9 (c) The patient advocate, in carrying out assigned duties, shall have unlimited access

13.10 to all nonconfidential and all nonprivileged documents in the custody and control of the

13.11 Minnesota Health Care Agency.


13.13 CARE PLAN.

13.14 Subdivision 1. Establishment. There is within the Office of the Attorney General

13.15 an Inspector General for the Minnesota health care plan who is appointed by the attorney

13.16 general.

13.17 Subd. 2. Duties. The inspector general shall:

13.18 (1) investigate, audit, and review the financial and business records of individuals,

13.19 public and private agencies and institutions, and private corporations that provide services

13.20 or products to the plan, the costs of which are reimbursed by the plan;

13.21 (2) investigate allegations of misconduct on the part of an employee or appointee

13.22 of the Minnesota Health Care Agency and on the part of any provider of health care

13.23 services that is reimbursed by the plan, and report any findings of misconduct to the

13.24 attorney general;

13.25 (3) investigate patterns of medical practice that may indicate fraud and abuse

13.26 related to over or under utilization or other inappropriate utilization of medical products

13.27 and services;

13.28 (4) arrange for the collection and analysis of data needed to investigate the

13.29 inappropriate utilization of these products and services; and

13.30 (5) annually report recommendations for improvements to the plan to the

13.31 commissioner.


13.33 REGIONS.

Article 2 Sec. 9. 13

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

Subdivision 1. Establishment. The Health Care Policy 14.1 Board shall appoint a

14.2 transition advisory group to assist with the transition to the health care plan.

14.3 Subd. 2. Duties. The transition advisory group shall advise the commissioner on all

14.4 aspects of the implementation of this chapter.

14.5 (b) The transition advisory group shall make recommendations to the commissioner

14.6 on how the health care plan shall be regionalized for the purposes of local and

14.7 communitybased

planning for the delivery of high quality, costeffective

care and

14.8 efficient service delivery.

14.9 Sec. 10. [62U.14] HEALTH PLANNING REGIONS.

14.10 Subdivision 1. Establishment. The commissioner, in consultation with the director

14.11 of Health Quality Planning, shall establish at least six health planning regions composed of

14.12 geographically contiguous counties grouped on the basis of the following considerations:

14.13 (1) patterns of utilization of health care services;

14.14 (2) health care resources, including workforce resources;

14.15 (3) health needs of the population, including public health needs;

14.16 (4) geography;

14.17 (5) population and demographic characteristics; and

14.18 (6) other considerations as appropriate.

14.19 Subd. 2. Administration. The county boards of each region shall appoint a regional

14.20 planning director for the region. Regional planning directors shall serve at the will of the

14.21 counties and may serve up to two fouryear


14.22 Sec. 11. [62U.15] REGIONAL PLANNING.

14.23 Subdivision 1. Regional planning director. (a) A regional planning director

14.24 shall administer each health planning region. The regional planning director shall be

14.25 responsible for all duties, the exercise of all powers and jurisdiction, and the discharge of

14.26 all responsibilities vested by law in the regional agency.

14.27 (b) The regional planning director shall reside in the region in which the director

14.28 serves.

14.29 (c) The regional planning director shall:

14.30 (1) establish and administer a regional office;

14.31 (2) establish regional goals and priorities according to standards, goals, priorities,

14.32 and guidelines established by the regional board;

14.33 (3) make needed revenuesharing

arrangements so that regionalization does not limit

14.34 a patient's choice of provider; and

Article 2 Sec. 11. 14

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(4) identify and prioritize regional health care needs and goals 15.1 in collaboration with

15.2 regional health care providers and the regional planning board.

15.3 Subd. 2. Regional planning boards. (a) Each region shall have a regional planning

15.4 board consisting of 15 members who shall be appointed by the county boards in the

15.5 region. Members shall serve fouryear


15.6 (b) Regional planning board members shall have resided for a minimum of two years

15.7 in the region in which they serve prior to appointment to the board.

15.8 (c) Regional planning board members shall reside in the region they serve while

15.9 on the board.

15.10 (d) The board shall consist of the following members:

15.11 (1) the regional planning director and a public health officer from one of the regional

15.12 counties;

15.13 (2) a representative from the Ombudsman Office of Patient Advocacy;

15.14 (3) one expert in health care financing;

15.15 (4) one expert in health care planning;

15.16 (5) a registered nurse who is a direct patient care provider;

15.17 (6) a primary care physician who is a direct patient care provider;

15.18 (7) one member who represents ancillary health care workers;

15.19 (8) one member representing hospitals;

15.20 (9) one member representing essential providers;

15.21 (10) one member representing longterm

care providers; and

15.22 (11) four county commissioners.

15.23 (e) The regional planning director shall serve as chair of the board.

15.24 (f) Regional planning boards shall set health policy goals for the regional planning

15.25 director on all aspects of regional health care.

15.26 ARTICLE 3


15.28 Section 1. [62U.19] FUND FOR HEALTH CARE.

15.29 Subdivision 1. General provisions. (a) In order to support the agency effectively in

15.30 the administration of this chapter, there is established in the state treasury the fund for

15.31 health care. The fund shall be administered by a director appointed by the commissioner.

15.32 (b) All money collected, received, and transferred according to this chapter shall be

15.33 transmitted to the state treasury to be deposited to the credit of the fund for health care for

15.34 the purpose of financing the Minnesota health care plan.

Article 3 Section 1. 15

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(c) Money deposited in the fund for health care shall be used 16.1 exclusively to support

16.2 this chapter.

16.3 (d) All claims for health care services rendered shall be made to the fund for health

16.4 care.

16.5 (e) All payments made for health care services shall be disbursed from the fund

16.6 for health care.

16.7 Subd. 2. Accounts. (a) The director of the fund for health care shall establish

16.8 the following accounts within the fund:

16.9 (1) a system account to provide for all annual state expenditures for health care; and

16.10 (2) a reserve account.

16.11 (b) Premiums collected each year shall be sufficient to cover that year's projected

16.12 costs.

16.13 (c) The health care plan shall at all times hold in reserve an amount estimated in the

16.14 aggregate to provide for the payment of all losses and claims for which the plan may be

16.15 liable, and to provide for the expense of adjustment or settlement of losses and claims.

16.16 (d) During the transition, the commissioner shall work with the Department of

16.17 Commerce and other experts to determine an appropriate level of health plan reserves for

16.18 the first year and for future years of health care plan operation.

16.19 (e) Money currently held in reserve by state, city, and county health programs and

16.20 federal money for health care held in reserve in federal trust accounts shall be transferred

16.21 to the state health care reserve account when the state assumes financial responsibility for

16.22 health care under this chapter that is currently provided by those programs.

16.23 (f) The commissioner shall implement arrangements to selfinsure

the system

16.24 against unforeseen expenditures or revenue shortfalls not covered by plan reserves and

16.25 may borrow funds to cover temporary revenue shortfalls not covered by plan reserves,

16.26 including the issuance of bonds for this purpose, whichever is more costeffective.

16.27 Subd. 3. Cost control. (a) The commissioner shall work to ensure appropriate

16.28 cost control through:

16.29 (1) aggressive public health measures, early intervention and preventive care, and

16.30 promotion of personal health improvement;

16.31 (2) changes in the delivery of health care services and administration that improve

16.32 efficiency and care quality;

16.33 (3) negotiations with providers and suppliers; and

16.34 (4) adjustments of health care provider payments to correct for deficiencies in care

16.35 quality and failure to meet compensation contract performance goals.

Article 3 Section 1. 16

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(b) If the commissioner determines that there will be a revenue 17.1 shortfall despite the

17.2 cost control measures in paragraph (a), the commissioner shall report to the legislature

17.3 on the causes of the shortfall and the reasons for the failure of cost controls and shall

17.4 recommend measures to correct the shortfall, including an increase in health care plan

17.5 premium payments.

17.6 Sec. 2. [62U.21] PAYMENTS.

17.7 Subdivision 1. Procedures. (a) The Health Care Policy Board shall review, approve,

17.8 reject, and modify all payment contracts and compensation plans established according

17.9 to this section.

17.10 (b) The board shall establish and supervise a uniform payments system for providers

17.11 and managers and shall maintain a compensation plan for the following providers and

17.12 managers according to the provider and manager budget established by the commissioner:

17.13 (1) upper level managers including executives employed in private health care

17.14 facilities and plans; and

17.15 (2) health care providers.

17.16 (c) Health care providers who accept any payment from the Minnesota health care

17.17 plan for a covered service shall not bill the patient for that covered service.

17.18 (d) Health care providers may be compensated as feeforservice

providers or as

17.19 salaried providers in the health care plan.

17.20 (e) No compensation plan or financial incentive may adversely affect the care a

17.21 patient receives or the care a health provider recommends.

17.22 (f) Feeforservice

providers shall be paid within 30 business days for claims filed in

17.23 compliance with procedures established by the fund for health care.

17.24 Subd. 2. Regional payments. (a) The commissioner shall establish an allocation for

17.25 each region to fund regional operating and capital budgets.

17.26 (b) Integrated health care systems, essential providers, and group medical practices

17.27 that provide comprehensive, coordinated services may choose to be reimbursed on the

17.28 basis of a capitated system operating budget or a noncapitated system operating budget

17.29 that covers all costs of providing health care services.

17.30 (c) Providers may include in their operating budget requests reimbursement for

17.31 ancillary health care or social services that were previously funded by money now

17.32 received and disbursed by the fund for health care.

17.33 (d) No payment may be made from a capitated or noncapitated budget for a capital

17.34 expense except as stipulated in section 62U.23.

Article 3 Sec. 2. 17

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

Subd. 3. Funds from outside sources. Facilities operating 18.1 under health care plan

18.2 operating budgets may raise and expend funds from sources other than the Minnesota

18.3 health care plan including, private or foundation donors and other nonMinnesota


18.4 care plan sources for purposes related to the goals of this section and according to the

18.5 provisions of this section.

18.6 Sec. 3. [62U.23] CAPITAL MANAGEMENT PLAN.

18.7 Subdivision 1. General provisions. (a) The commissioner shall develop a capital

18.8 management plan that shall include conflictofinterest

standards and that shall govern all

18.9 large capital investments and acquisitions undertaken in the Minnesota health care plan.

18.10 The commissioner and the regional planning directors shall issue requests for proposals

18.11 and oversee a process of competitive bidding for the development of capital projects that

18.12 meet the needs of the Minnesota health care plan and to fund, partially fund, or participate

18.13 in seeking funding for those capital projects.

18.14 (b) Providers intending to make capital investments or acquisitions shall prepare a

18.15 request including the full lifecycle

costs of the project or acquisition and demonstrate

18.16 how the investment or acquisition meets the health needs of the population it is intended

18.17 to serve. Acquisitions include, but are not limited to, the acquisition of land, operational

18.18 property, or administrative office space.

18.19 (c) The commissioner shall establish standards and a process whereby the regional

18.20 planning directors shall evaluate, accept, reject, or modify a business plan for a capital

18.21 investment or acquisition. Decisions of a regional planning director may be appealed

18.22 through a dispute resolution process established by the commissioner.

18.23 Subd. 2. Regional capital development plans. (a) Regional planning directors

18.24 shall develop a regional capital development plan according to the Minnesota health care

18.25 plan capital management plan established by the commissioner.

18.26 (b) Services provided as a result of capital investments or acquisitions that do not

18.27 meet the terms of the regional capital development plan and the capital management plan

18.28 developed by the commissioner shall not be reimbursed by the Minnesota health care plan.

18.29 Sec. 4. [62U.25] BUDGET.

18.30 Subdivision 1. Prescription drugs and durable and nondurable medical

18.31 equipment. (a) The commissioner shall establish a budget for the purchase of prescription

18.32 drugs and durable and nondurable medical equipment for the health care plan.

18.33 (b) The commissioner shall negotiate the lowest possible prices for prescription

18.34 drugs and durable and nondurable medical equipment.

Article 3 Sec. 4. 18

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

Subd. 2. Research and innovation. The commissioner shall 19.1 establish a budget to

19.2 support research and innovation that has been recommended by the Health Care Policy

19.3 Board and the patient advocates.

19.4 Subd. 3. Training, development, and continuing education. (a) The commissioner

19.5 shall establish a budget to support the training, development, and continuing education of

19.6 health care providers and the health care workforce needed to meet the health care needs

19.7 of the population and the goals and standards of the health care plan.

19.8 (b) During the transition, the commissioner shall determine an appropriate level and

19.9 duration of spending to support the retraining and job placement of persons who have been

19.10 displaced from employment as a result of the transition to the new health care plan.

19.11 Subd. 4. Budget reserve. The commissioner shall establish a budget reserve.

19.12 Money in the budget reserve may be used only for the purposes specified in this chapter.

19.13 Subd. 5. System administration. (a) The commissioner shall establish a budget

19.14 that covers costs of administering the Minnesota health care plan.


19.16 Subdivision 1. Duties. The Minnesota Health Plan Policy Board shall:

19.17 (1) determine the aggregate costs of providing health care according to this chapter;

19.18 and

19.19 (2) develop an equitable and affordable premium structure that is progressive and

19.20 based on the ability to pay and that will generate adequate revenue for the fund for health

19.21 care;

19.22 (3) in consultation with the Department of Revenue, develop an efficient means

19.23 of collecting premiums;

19.24 (4) ensure that all income earners and all employers contribute a premium amount

19.25 that is affordable;

19.26 (5) coordinate with existing, ongoing funding sources from federal and state

19.27 programs; and.

19.28 (6) provide a fair distribution of monetary savings achieved from the establishment

19.29 of the state health care plan.

19.30 Subd. 2. Report. On or before July 1, 2009, the board shall submit to the governor

19.31 and the legislature a detailed recommendation for collecting the revenue to finance the

19.32 state health care plan.

19.33 EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

19.34 Sec. 6. [62U.29] GOVERNMENTAL PAYMENTS.

Article 3 Sec. 6. 19

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(a) The commissioner shall seek all necessary waivers, exemptions, 20.1 agreements,

20.2 or legislation so that all current federal payments to the state for health care are paid

20.3 directly to the Minnesota health care plan, which shall then assume responsibility for all

20.4 benefits and services previously paid for by the federal government with those funds. In

20.5 obtaining the waivers, exemptions, agreements, or legislation, the commissioner shall seek

20.6 from the federal government a contribution for health care services in Minnesota that

20.7 shall not decrease in relation to the contribution to other states as a result of the waivers,

20.8 exemptions, agreements, or legislation.

20.9 (b) The commissioner shall seek all necessary waivers, exemptions, agreements, or

20.10 legislation so that all current state payments for health care are paid directly to the system,

20.11 which shall then assume responsibility for all benefits and services previously paid for by

20.12 state government with those funds. In obtaining the waivers, exemptions, agreements,

20.13 or legislation, the commissioner shall seek from the legislature a contribution for health

20.14 care services that shall not decrease in relation to state government expenditures for health

20.15 care services in the year that this chapter was enacted, except that it may be corrected for

20.16 change in state gross domestic product, the size and age of population, and the number of

20.17 residents living below the federal poverty level.


20.19 (a) The plan's responsibility for providing care shall be secondary to existing federal,

20.20 state, or local governmental programs for health care services to the extent that funding for

20.21 these programs is not transferred to the fund for health care or that the transfer is delayed

20.22 beyond the date on which initial benefits are provided under the plan.

20.23 (b) In order to minimize the administrative burden of maintaining eligibility records

20.24 for programs transferred to the plan, the commissioner shall seek to reach an agreement

20.25 with federal, state, and local governments in which their contributions to the fund for

20.26 health care shall be fixed to the rate of change of the state gross domestic product, the size

20.27 and age of population, and the number of residents living below the federal poverty level.

20.28 Sec. 8. [62U.33] FEDERAL PREEMPTION.

20.29 Subdivision 1. Federal waivers. (a) The commissioner shall pursue all reasonable

20.30 means to secure a repeal or a waiver of any provision of federal law that preempts any

20.31 provision of this chapter.

20.32 (b) In the event that a repeal or a waiver of law or regulations cannot be secured,

20.33 the commissioner shall adopt rules, or seek conforming state legislation, consistent with

20.34 federal law, in an effort to best fulfill the purposes of this chapter.

Article 3 Sec. 8. 20

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

Subd. 2. Employer contract or plan federal preemption. 21.1 (a) To the extent

21.2 permitted by federal law, an employee entitled to health or related benefits under a contract

21.3 or plan that, under federal law, preempts provisions of this chapter, shall first seek benefits

21.4 under that contract or plan before receiving benefits from the plan under this chapter.

21.5 (b) No benefits shall be denied under the plan created by this chapter unless the

21.6 employee has failed to take reasonable steps to secure like benefits from the contract or

21.7 plan, if those benefits are available.

21.8 (c) Nothing in this chapter is intended, nor shall this chapter be construed, to

21.9 discourage recourse to contracts or plans that are protected by federal law.

21.10 (d) To the extent permitted by federal law, a health care provider shall first seek

21.11 payment from the contract or plan before submitting bills to the Minnesota health care

21.12 plan.

21.13 Sec. 9. [62U.35] SUBROGATION.

21.14 Subdivision 1. Collateral source. (a) It is the intent of this chapter to establish a

21.15 single public payer for all health care in the state of Minnesota. Until the time when the

21.16 roles of all other payers for health care have been terminated, health care costs shall be

21.17 collected from collateral sources whenever medical services provided to an individual

21.18 are, or may be, covered services under a policy of insurance, health care service plan, or

21.19 other collateral source available to that individual, or for which the individual has a right

21.20 of action for compensation to the extent permitted by law.

21.21 (b) As used in this section, collateral source includes:

21.22 (1) insurance policies written by insurers, including the medical components of

21.23 automobile, homeowners, and other forms of insurance;

21.24 (2) health care service plans and pension plans;

21.25 (3) employers;

21.26 (4) employee benefit contracts;

21.27 (5) government benefit programs;

21.28 (6) a judgment for damages for personal injury; and

21.29 (7) any third party who is or may be liable to an individual for health care services

21.30 or costs.

21.31 (c) Collateral source does not include:

21.32 (1) a contract or plan that is subject to federal preemption; or

21.33 (2) any governmental unit, agency, or service, to the extent that subrogation

21.34 is prohibited by law. An entity described in paragraph (b) is not excluded from the

Article 3 Sec. 9. 21

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

obligations imposed by this section by virtue of a contract 22.1 or relationship with a

22.2 governmental unit, agency, or service.

22.3 (d) The commissioner shall negotiate waivers, seek federal legislation, or make

22.4 other arrangements to incorporate collateral sources in Minnesota into the Minnesota

22.5 health care plan.

22.6 Subd. 2. Collateral source; negotiation. Whenever an individual receives health

22.7 care services under the plan and is entitled to coverage, reimbursement, indemnity, or

22.8 other compensation from a collateral source, the individual shall notify the health care

22.9 provider and provide information identifying the collateral source, the nature and extent

22.10 of coverage or entitlement, and other relevant information. The health care provider

22.11 shall forward this information to the commissioner. The individual entitled to coverage,

22.12 reimbursement, indemnity, or other compensation from a collateral source shall provide

22.13 additional information as requested by the commissioner.

22.14 Subd. 3. Reimbursement. (a) The plan shall seek reimbursement from the

22.15 collateral source for services provided to the individual and may institute appropriate

22.16 action, including legal proceedings, to recover the reimbursement. Upon demand, the

22.17 collateral source shall pay to the fund for health care the sums it would have paid or

22.18 expended on behalf of the individual for the health care services provided by the plan.

22.19 (b) In addition to any other right to recovery provided in this section, the

22.20 commissioner shall have the same right to recover the reasonable value of benefits from

22.21 a collateral source as provided to the commissioner of human services under section

22.22 256B.37.

22.23 (c) If a collateral source is exempt from subrogation or the obligation to reimburse

22.24 the plan as provided in this section, the commissioner may require that an individual who

22.25 is entitled to medical services from the source first seek those services from that source

22.26 before seeking those services from the plan.

22.27 (d) To the extent permitted by federal law, contractual retiree health benefits provided

22.28 by employers shall be subject to the same subrogation as other contracts, allowing the

22.29 Minnesota health care plan to recover the cost of services provided to individuals covered

22.30 by the retiree benefits, unless and until arrangements are made to transfer the revenues

22.31 of the benefits directly to the Minnesota health care plan.

22.32 Subd. 4. Defaults, underpayments, and late payments. (a) Default, underpayment,

22.33 or late payment of any tax or other obligation imposed by this chapter shall result in the

22.34 remedies and penalties provided by law, except as provided in this section.

22.35 (b) Eligibility for benefits under section 62U.37 shall not be impaired by any default,

22.36 underpayment, or late payment of any tax or other obligation imposed by this chapter.

Article 3 Sec. 9. 22

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23.1 ARTICLE 4


23.3 Section 1. [62U.37] ELIGIBILITY.

23.4 Subdivision 1. Residency. All Minnesota residents shall be eligible for the

23.5 Minnesota health care plan. Residency shall be based upon physical presence in the state

23.6 with the intent to reside.

23.7 Subd. 2. Enrollment; identification. The commissioner shall establish a procedure

23.8 to enroll eligible residents and provide each eligible individual with identification that can

23.9 be used by health care providers to determine eligibility for services.

23.10 Subd. 3. Residents temporarily out of state. (a) It is the intent of the legislature for

23.11 the Minnesota health care plan to provide health care coverage to Minnesota residents who

23.12 are temporarily out of the state. The commissioner shall determine eligibility standards for

23.13 residents temporarily out of state who intend to return and reside in Minnesota and for

23.14 nonresidents temporarily employed in Minnesota.

23.15 (b) Coverage for emergency care obtained out of state shall be at prevailing local

23.16 rates. Coverage for nonemergency care obtained out of state shall be according to rates and

23.17 conditions established by the commissioner. The commissioner may require that a resident

23.18 be transported back to Minnesota when prolonged treatment of an emergency condition is

23.19 necessary and when that transport will not adversely affect a patient's care or condition.

23.20 Subd. 4. Visitors. Visitors to Minnesota shall be billed for all services received

23.21 under the plan. The commissioner may establish intergovernmental arrangements with

23.22 other states and countries to provide reciprocal coverage for temporary visitors.

23.23 Subd. 5. Outofstate

work. All persons eligible for health benefits from Minnesota

23.24 employers but who are working in another jurisdiction shall be eligible for health benefits

23.25 under this chapter provided they make payments equivalent to the payments they would

23.26 be required to make if they were residing in Minnesota.

23.27 Subd. 6. Retiree benefits. (a) All persons who under an employeremployee

23.28 contract are eligible for retiree medical benefits, including retirees who elect to reside

23.29 outside of Minnesota, shall remain eligible for those benefits provided the contractually

23.30 mandated payments for those benefits are made to the Minnesota fund for health care,

23.31 which shall assume financial responsibility for care provided under the terms of the

23.32 contract.

23.33 (b) The commissioner may establish financial arrangements with states and foreign

23.34 countries in order to facilitate meeting the terms of the contracts described in paragraph

Article 4 Section 1. 23

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(a), except that payments for care provided by nonMinnesota

24.1 providers to Minnesota

24.2 retirees shall be reimbursed at rates established by the commissioner.

24.3 Subd. 7. Minors. Unmarried, unemancipated minors shall be deemed to have

24.4 the residency of their parent or guardian. If a minor's parents are deceased and a legal

24.5 guardian has not been appointed, or if a minor has been emancipated by court order, the

24.6 minor may establish residency.

24.7 Subd. 8. Presumptive eligibility. (a) An individual shall be presumed to be eligible

24.8 if the individual arrives at a health facility and is unconscious, comatose, or otherwise

24.9 unable, because of the individual's physical or mental condition, to document eligibility or

24.10 to act in the individual's own behalf. If the patient is a minor, the patient shall be presumed

24.11 to be eligible, and the health facility shall provide care as if the patient were eligible.

24.12 (b) Any individual shall be presumed to be eligible when brought to a health facility

24.13 according to any provision of section 253B.05.

24.14 (c) Any individual involuntarily committed to an acute psychiatric facility or to a

24.15 hospital with psychiatric beds according to any provision of section 253B.05, providing

24.16 for involuntary commitment, shall be presumed eligible.

24.17 (d) All health facilities subject to state and federal provisions governing emergency

24.18 medical treatment shall continue to comply with those provisions.

24.19 (e) To prevent an influx of people into the state for the purposes of receiving medical

24.20 care, the commissioner shall establish an eligibility waiting period and other criteria

24.21 needed to protect Minnesota premium payers and ensure the fiscal stability of the health

24.22 care plan.

24.23 ARTICLE 5


24.25 Section 1. [62U.39] BENEFITS.

24.26 Subdivision 1. General provisions. Any eligible individual may choose to receive

24.27 services under the Minnesota health care plan from any willing professional health care

24.28 provider participating in the plan. No health care provider may refuse to care for a

24.29 patient solely on the basis that is specified in the definition of unfair employment practice

24.30 contained in section 363A.08.

24.31 Subd. 2. Covered benefits. Covered benefits in this chapter shall include all

24.32 medical care determined to be medically appropriate by the consumer's health care

24.33 provider, but are subject to the limitations specified in subdivision 4. Covered benefits

24.34 include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

24.35 (1) inpatient and outpatient health facility services;

Article 5 Section 1. 24

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(2) inpatient and outpatient professional health care provider 25.1 services by licensed

25.2 health care professionals;

25.3 (3) diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and other diagnostic and evaluative

25.4 services;

25.5 (4) durable medical equipment, appliances, and assistive technology, including

25.6 prosthetics, eyeglasses, and hearing aids and their repair;

25.7 (5) inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care;

25.8 (6) emergency transportation and necessary transportation for health care services

25.9 for disabled and indigent persons;

25.10 (7) language interpretation and translation for health care services, including sign

25.11 language for those unable to speak, or hear, or who are language impaired, and Braille

25.12 translation or other services for those with no or low vision;

25.13 (8) child and adult immunizations and preventive care;

25.14 (9) health education;

25.15 (10) hospice care;

25.16 (11) home health care;

25.17 (12) prescription drugs that are listed on the system formulary; nonformulary

25.18 prescription drugs may be included where standards and criteria established by the

25.19 commissioner are met;

25.20 (13) mental and behavioral health care;

25.21 (14) dental care;

25.22 (15) podiatric care;

25.23 (16) chiropractic care;

25.24 (17) acupuncture;

25.25 (18) blood and blood products;

25.26 (19) emergency care services;

25.27 (20) vision care;

25.28 (21) adult day care;

25.29 (22) case management and coordination to ensure services necessary to enable a

25.30 person to remain safely in the least restrictive setting;

25.31 (23) substance abuse treatment;

25.32 (24) care in a skilled nursing facility;

25.33 (25) dialysis; and

25.34 (26) benefits offered by a bona fide church, sect, denomination, or organization

25.35 whose principles include healing entirely by prayer or spiritual means provided by a

Article 5 Section 1. 25

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

duly authorized and accredited practitioner or nurse of that 26.1 bona fide church, sect,

26.2 denomination, or organization.

26.3 Subd. 3. Benefit expansion. The commissioner may expand benefits beyond the

26.4 minimum benefits described in this section when expansion meets the intent of this chapter

26.5 and when there are sufficient funds to cover the expansion.

26.6 Subd. 4. Exclusions. The following health care services shall be excluded from

26.7 coverage by the plan:

26.8 (1) health care services determined to have no medical indication by the

26.9 commissioner;

26.10 (2) surgery, dermatology, orthodontia, prescription drugs, and other procedures

26.11 primarily for cosmetic purposes, unless required to correct a congenital defect, restore or

26.12 correct a part of the body that has been altered as a result of injury, disease, or surgery,

26.13 or determined to be medically necessary by a qualified, licensed health care provider in

26.14 the plan;

26.15 (3) private rooms in inpatient health facilities where appropriate nonprivate rooms

26.16 are available, unless determined to be medically necessary by a qualified, licensed health

26.17 care provider in the plan; and

26.18 (4) services of a professional health care provider or facility that is not licensed or

26.19 accredited by the state except for approved services provided to a Minnesota resident

26.20 who is temporarily out of the state.

26.21 ARTICLE 6


26.23 Section 1. [62U.41] PROVIDERS.

26.24 (a) All health care providers licensed or accredited to practice in Minnesota may

26.25 participate in the Minnesota health care plan.

26.26 (b) No health care provider may refuse to care for a patient on any basis that is

26.27 specified in the definition of unfair employment practice contained in section 363A.08.

26.28 (c) All federal legislation and regulations governing referral fees and feesplitting,

26.29 including, but not limited to, United States Code, title 42, sections 1320a7b

and 1395nn,

26.30 shall be applicable to all health care providers of services reimbursed under this chapter,

26.31 whether or not the health care provider is paid with funds coming from the federal

26.32 government.

26.33 (d) Choice of provider is subject to the following provisions.

26.34 (1) Persons eligible for health care services under this chapter may choose the

26.35 following providers:

Article 6 Section 1. 26

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(i) primary care providers that include family practitioners, general 27.1 practitioners,

27.2 internists and pediatricians, advance practice nurse practitioners and physician assistants

27.3 practicing under supervision as defined in section 147A.01, subdivision 18, and doctors

27.4 of osteopathy licensed to practice as general doctors; and

27.5 (ii) women may choose an obstetriciangynecologist,

in addition to a primary

27.6 provider.

27.7 (2) Persons who choose to enroll with integrated health care systems, group

27.8 medical practices, or essential providers that offer comprehensive services, shall retain

27.9 membership for at least six months after an initial threemonth

evaluation period during

27.10 which time they may withdraw for any reason.

27.11 (3) The threemonth

period shall commence on the date when an enrollee first sees

27.12 a primary care provider.

27.13 (4) Persons who want to withdraw after the initial threemonth

period shall request a

27.14 withdrawal according to dispute resolution procedures established by the commissioner

27.15 and may request assistance from the ombudsman for patient advocacy in the dispute

27.16 process. The dispute shall be resolved in a timely fashion and shall have no adverse

27.17 effect on the care a patient receives.

27.18 (5) Persons needing to change primary care providers because of health care needs

27.19 that their primary care provider cannot meet may change primary care providers at any

27.20 time.

27.21 Sec. 2. [62U.43] REFERRALS.

27.22 (a) All patients shall have a primary care provider who shall coordinate the care a

27.23 patient receives or shall ensure that a patient's care is coordinated. A specialist may serve

27.24 as the primary care provider if the patient and the provider agree to this arrangement, and

27.25 if the provider agrees to coordinate the patient's care or to ensure that the care the patient

27.26 receives is coordinated.

27.27 (b) Referrals shall be based on the medical needs of the patient and on guidelines,

27.28 which shall be established by the Health Care Policy Board.

27.29 (c) Referrals shall not be restricted or provided solely because of financial

27.30 considerations. The Health Care Policy Board shall monitor referral patterns and intervene

27.31 as necessary to ensure that referrals are neither restricted nor provided solely because of

27.32 financial considerations.

27.33 (d) The commissioner may establish or ensure the establishment of a computerized

27.34 referral registry to facilitate the referral process.

Article 6 Sec. 2. 27

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189


28.2 Subdivision 1. General provisions. The Health Policy Board shall establish an

28.3 Office of Health Quality and Planning to provide for the shortand



28.4 needs of the population. The office shall:

28.5 (1) promote the delivery of highquality,

coordinated health care services that

28.6 enhance health; prevent illness, disease, and disability; slow the progression of chronic

28.7 diseases; and improve personal health management;

28.8 (2) establish performance criteria in measurable terms for health care goals;

28.9 (3) assist the health care regions to develop operating and capital requests according

28.10 to health care and finance guidelines established by the commissioner and this chapter. In

28.11 assisting regions, the director of the Office of Health Quality and Planning shall:

28.12 (i) identify medically undeserved areas and health service and asset shortages;

28.13 (ii) identify disparities in health outcomes;

28.14 (iii) provide information to support planning, including planning for access to

28.15 specialized centers that perform a high volume of procedures for conditions requiring

28.16 highly specialized treatments, including emergency and trauma, planning for interregional

28.17 access to needed care, and planning for coordinated interregional capital investment; and

28.18 (iv) evaluate regional budget requests and make recommendations to the

28.19 commissioner about regional revenue allocations;

28.20 (4) estimate the health care workforce required to meet the health needs of the

28.21 population, the costs of providing the needed workforce, and, in collaboration with

28.22 regional planners, educational institutions, the governor and the legislature, develop short28.23

and longterm

plans to meet those needs, including a plan to finance needed training; and

28.24 (5) estimate the number and types of health facilities required to meet the shortand

28.25 longterm

health needs of the population and the projected costs of needed facilities. In

28.26 collaboration with the commissioner, regional planning directors, the governor, and the

28.27 legislature, the director shall develop plans to finance and build needed facilities.

28.28 Subd. 2. Culturally and linguistically competent care. (a) The Office of Health

28.29 Quality and Planning shall establish standards for culturally and linguistically competent

28.30 care.

28.31 (b) The director of the Office of Health Quality and Planning shall annually evaluate

28.32 the effectiveness of standards for culturally and linguistically competent care and make

28.33 recommendations to the commissioner and the ombudsman for patient advocacy.

28.34 (c) The director shall pursue available federal financial participation for the provision

28.35 of a language services program that supports health care plan goals.

Article 6 Sec. 3. 28

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

Subd. 3. Health initiatives. The Office of Health Quality and 29.1 Planning shall explore

29.2 the feasibility and the value to the health of the population of the following initiatives:

29.3 (1) integrated statewide health care databases to support health care planning;

29.4 (2) electronic systems and other means that support the use of standards of care

29.5 based on clinical efficacy;

29.6 (3) development of disease management programs;

29.7 (4) electronic initiatives that lower administration costs;

29.8 (5) Webbased,


information systems that assist people to promote

29.9 and maintain health and provide information on health conditions and recent developments

29.10 in treatment; and

29.11 (6) recommend to the commissioner means to link health care research with the

29.12 goals and priorities of the health care plan.

29.13 Subd. 4. Additional benefits. The Office of Health Quality and Planning shall

29.14 consider additional benefits based on clinical efficacy. In considering additional benefits,

29.15 the office shall:

29.16 (1) identify safe and effective treatments;

29.17 (2) receive comments and recommendations from health care providers about

29.18 benefits that meet the needs of their patients;

29.19 (3) receive comments and recommendations made directly by patients or indirectly

29.20 through the patient advocate;

29.21 (4) identify innovative approaches to health promotion, disease and injury

29.22 prevention, education, research, and care delivery; and

29.23 (5) identify complementary and alternative modalities that have been shown by

29.24 the National Institutes of Health, Division of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

29.25 to be safe and effective.

29.26 The office shall establish pharmaceutical and medical equipment formularies based

29.27 on clinical efficacy. The formularies shall be updated regularly to reflect new drugs and

29.28 medical equipment.

29.29 (h) The office shall develop standards and criteria and a process for providers to

29.30 request authorization for services and treatments, including experimental treatments that

29.31 are not included in the plan benefit package.

29.32 (i) The office shall identify appropriate ratios of general medical providers to

29.33 specialty medical providers on a regional basis in order to meet the health care needs of

29.34 the population and the goals of the health care plan and recommend incentives and other

29.35 means to achieve recommended provider ratios.

Article 6 Sec. 3. 29

05/18/07 REVISOR SGS/KJ 074189

(j) The office shall oversee coordination of the Minnesota 30.1 health care plan and

30.2 public health programs.


30.4 Subdivision 1. Duties of ombudsman for patient advocacy. The ombudsman

30.5 for patient advocacy shall establish a grievance system for all complaints. The system

30.6 shall provide reasonable procedures that shall ensure adequate consideration of member

30.7 grievances and appropriate remedies.

30.8 Subd. 2. Referral of grievances. The ombudsman for patient advocacy may

30.9 refer any grievance that does not pertain to compliance with this chapter to the federal

30.10 Health Care Financing Administration or any other appropriate local, state, and federal

30.11 governmental entity for investigation and resolution.

30.12 Subd. 3. Submittal by designated agents and providers. A provider may join

30.13 with, or otherwise assist, an enrollee to submit the grievance to the patient advocate

30.14 without fear of retribution.

30.15 Subd. 4. Review of documents. The ombudsman may require additional

30.16 information from providers or the commissioner.

30.17 Subd. 5. Written notice of disposition. The ombudsman shall send a written notice

30.18 of the final disposition of the grievance, and the reasons for the decision, to the member, to

30.19 any provider who is assisting the member, and to the commissioner, within 30 calendar

30.20 days of receipt of the request for review unless the ombudsman determines that additional

30.21 time is reasonably necessary to fully and fairly evaluate the relevant grievance. The

30.22 ombudsman's order of corrective action shall be binding on the plan. Decisions of the

30.23 ombudsman may only be appealed in district court.

30.24 Sec. 5. APPROPRIATION.

30.25 $....... is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of health care for

30.26 fiscal year 2009 to implement the provisions of this act.

30.27 Sec. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

30.28 This act is effective the day following final enactment. The commissioner of

30.29 finance shall notify the chairs of the house of representatives and senate committees

30.30 with jurisdiction over health care that the fund for health care has sufficient revenues to

30.31 fund the costs of implementing this act.

Article 6 Sec. 6. 30


Article locations in 074189

ARTICLE 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS .................................................................. Page.Ln 1.9

ARTICLE 2 GOVERNANCE .................................................................................. Page.Ln 5.12

ARTICLE 3 FUNDING ........................................................................................... Page.Ln 15.26

ARTICLE 4 ELIGIBILITY ...................................................................................... Page.Ln 23.1

ARTICLE 5 BENEFITS ........................................................................................... Page.Ln 24.23

ARTICLE 6 DELIVERY OF CARE ........................................................................ Page.Ln 26.21


Alan L. Maki

Member, Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee, Roseau County

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk