North Star Newsletter: Minnesotans Speak Out on Health Care Bill

Senator Al Franken
2017-06-29 14:39:35
North Star Newsletter: June 2017 Minnesotans Speak Out on Health Care Bill At a recent community meeting in Burnsville, I heard from Minnesotans about how the Medicaid cuts included in the Senate Republicans’ health care bill would affect them and their families. More than 200 of my constituents who attended heard from people like Brandon, a successful college student who has endured nearly 40 surgeries for his cerebral palsy. Both Brandon and his mom Sheri described how Medicaid has been a lifeline that has given the family the means to afford his life-saving care. Sheri said “if we didn’t have Medicaid, Brandon probably wouldn’t be here, and he wouldn’t be doing as well as he’s doing.” Brandon added that “kids with disabilities are referred to as 'special needs' and I like to think I’m pretty special. I also like to think our needs are also special depending on the kind of care we need and that’s what Medicaid provides.” I’m glad that Senate Republicans have delayed the vote on their dangerous health plan, which would hurt Brandon and millions of other Americans. But now it's so important for all Minnesotans to keep speaking out and keep telling their stories. They matter. And I urge my Republican colleagues to do what I've said we should have been doing all along—working together to build on the Affordable Care Act and fix what needs fixing in a bipartisan way. Minnesotans and all Americans are counting on it. Championing Consumer Rights When a handful of large corporations control an entire industry, consumers pay the price, and that’s why I am deeply skeptical of large media mergers. So when news broke that AT&T was proposing to purchase Time Warner for more than $85 billion, it raised some immediate flags. A deal this big would give one company control over both content—like your favorite shows on HBO and news programs—and how that content is delivered to consumers. Bottom line: that would lead to higher costs, fewer choices, and even worse service. So as a member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, I’ve led a group of my colleagues in pressuring the Department of Justice (DOJ) to closely scrutinize the proposal. If the Justice Department agree that substantial harm would come to Minnesotans and Americans as a result of this deal, my colleagues and I believe that it should be rejected. And I'm going to keep doing everything I can to hold these giant corporations accountable for consumers in Minnesota and across the country. Expanding Access to Mental Health Care in Schools When I visit schools, I see how high-quality mental health treatment can change the lives of students and their families struggling with mental and behavioral health issues. But unfortunately, schools often don’t have the resources to help the one-in-five kids in our country who experience mental illness. That needs to change, which is why I recently reintroduced my Mental Health in Schools Act. My bill would help ensure that every student has access to the services they need. It establishes a grant program to aid schools that work with community-based organizations to expand access to mental health services for students and helps assist schools to train staff, volunteers, families, and other community members to recognize behavioral health problems in kids. Over the last several years, I've successfully fought for more than $200 million in funding for programs similar to those laid out in my bill. But we need to expand these efforts in schools across Minnesota and the entire country. “Celebrating the Veteran in My Life” Poetry Contest I have always believed that servicemembers, veterans, and all military families deserve to be honored for the sacrifices they make. That’s why, each April, in recognition of the “Month of the Military Child” and “National Poetry Month,” I invite Minnesota students to participate in an annual poetry contest to honor family members, loved ones, or friends who are serving or have served in the military. For my sixth annual poetry contest, “Celebrating the Veteran in My Life,” students in grades K-12 submitted poems, and the winners recently shared their poems at an awards ceremony. First place students in each age group received an autographed book from renowned Minnesota author Garrison Keillor, and the top three winners in each age group received a certificate and their poems will be on display in my St. Paul Senate office. Too often we overlook the sacrifices that military families make when a loved one leaves home to serve our country. These poems help us all understand what they go through. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here.

North Star Newsletter: June 2017

Minnesotans Speak Out on Health Care Bill

At a recent community meeting in Burnsville, I heard from Minnesotans about how the Medicaid cuts included in the Senate Republicans’ health care bill would affect them and their families. More than 200 of my constituents who attended heard from people like Brandon, a successful college student who has endured nearly 40 surgeries for his cerebral palsy. Both Brandon and his mom Sheri described how Medicaid has been a lifeline that has given the family the means to afford his life-saving care. Sheri said “if we didn’t have Medicaid, Brandon probably wouldn’t be here, and he wouldn’t be doing as well as he’s doing.”

Brandon added that “kids with disabilities are referred to as 'special needs' and I like to think I’m pretty special. I also like to think our needs are also special depending on the kind of care we need and that’s what Medicaid provides.”

I’m glad that Senate Republicans have delayed the vote on their dangerous health plan, which would hurt Brandon and millions of other Americans. But now it's so important for all Minnesotans to keep speaking out and keep telling their stories. They matter. And I urge my Republican colleagues to do what I've said we should have been doing all along—working together to build on the Affordable Care Act and fix what needs fixing in a bipartisan way. Minnesotans and all Americans are counting on it.

Championing Consumer Rights

When a handful of large corporations control an entire industry, consumers pay the price, and that’s why I am deeply skeptical of large media mergers.

So when news broke that AT&T was proposing to purchase Time Warner for more than $85 billion, it raised some immediate flags. A deal this big would give one company control over both content—like your favorite shows on HBO and news programs—and how that content is delivered to consumers. Bottom line: that would lead to higher costs, fewer choices, and even worse service.

So as a member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, I’ve led a group of my colleagues in pressuring the Department of Justice (DOJ) to closely scrutinize the proposal. If the Justice Department agree that substantial harm would come to Minnesotans and Americans as a result of this deal, my colleagues and I believe that it should be rejected. And I'm going to keep doing everything I can to hold these giant corporations accountable for consumers in Minnesota and across the country.

Expanding Access to Mental Health Care in Schools

When I visit schools, I see how high-quality mental health treatment can change the lives of students and their families struggling with mental and behavioral health issues.

But unfortunately, schools often don’t have the resources to help the one-in-five kids in our country who experience mental illness. That needs to change, which is why I recently reintroduced my Mental Health in Schools Act.

My bill would help ensure that every student has access to the services they need. It establishes a grant program to aid schools that work with community-based organizations to expand access to mental health services for students and helps assist schools to train staff, volunteers, families, and other community members to recognize behavioral health problems in kids.

Over the last several years, I've successfully fought for more than $200 million in funding for programs similar to those laid out in my bill. But we need to expand these efforts in schools across Minnesota and the entire country.

“Celebrating the Veteran in My Life” Poetry Contest

I have always believed that servicemembers, veterans, and all military families deserve to be honored for the sacrifices they make. That’s why, each April, in recognition of the “Month of the Military Child” and “National Poetry Month,” I invite Minnesota students to participate in an annual poetry contest to honor family members, loved ones, or friends who are serving or have served in the military.

For my sixth annual poetry contest, “Celebrating the Veteran in My Life,” students in grades K-12 submitted poems, and the winners recently shared their poems at an awards ceremony. First place students in each age group received an autographed book from renowned Minnesota author Garrison Keillor, and the top three winners in each age group received a certificate and their poems will be on display in my St. Paul Senate office.

Too often we overlook the sacrifices that military families make when a loved one leaves home to serve our country. These poems help us all understand what they go through.

To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page