North Star Newsletter: Improving Health Care for All Americans

Senator Al Franken
2017-07-31 16:55:00
North Star Newsletter: July 2017 Improving Health Care for All Americans I believe we need to work in an open and bipartisan way on real solutions to improve health care for all families in our country. That’s why I’m glad my colleagues and I rejected a shameful Republican health care bill that would have hurt Minnesotans and millions of other Americans. We still have work to do in order to expand coverage, lower costs, and improve care, which is why I believe Republicans and Democrats should work together to build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act by fixing what needs fixing in the law. I want to thank all the Minnesotans who shared their deeply moving and personal health care stories, including those that demonstrated how devastating cuts to Medicaid would affect them and their families. I’ve shared many of your stories with my colleagues in Washington. Believe me when I say that they truly matter and make a difference. So keep making your voices heard, and I’ll keep urging my Republican colleagues to come back to the table, under regular order, and work together in an open and bipartisan way to improve health care for all Americans. If we want to do this the right way, it's the only path forward. Standing Up for Consumers For as long as I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve been fighting to end forced arbitration, which is a practice often used by big companies to strip Americans of their legal rights and prevent them from seeking justice in a public court of law. Forced arbitration forces consumers who have been wronged out of the courts and into a privatized justice system built to favor the powerful, and it prevents people from banding together to hold corporations accountable. That’s why I strongly support a recently issued rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help protect Americans’ constitutional rights when they sign up for credit cards, checking accounts, or take out many types of loans. Giant financial institutions and the big Wall Street banks hate this rule, because it means they won’t be able keep as many Americans locked out of the courts, and now they’re wielding their influence and power to get Congress to kill it. In fact, there was already a vote in the House of Representatives that took the first step towards dismantling the arbitration rule. If we don’t push back, Wall Street could get its way, which means it’s time to ratchet up the fight. My colleagues and I should all be serving the people who sent us here, not powerful special interests. Fighting for Minnesota Teachers and Students Every child should have access to a world-class education—no matter where they live. But when our schools don’t have enough teachers and education professionals in the classroom, that goal is virtually impossible to achieve. In communities across Minnesota and the country, our schools are struggling to hire and retain qualified teachers. And as a member of the Senate Education Committee, I want to address this problem head on. Last year, my office met with education leaders in every region of the state, and we heard time and again that teacher shortages affect students, take a toll on schools, and lead to longer hours and more work for all of the great teachers we have now. I want to help give schools in both rural and urban districts the tools to hire and support the qualified teachers they need, and that’s why I recently introduced the Supporting Future Educators Act. My bill would support training for both new and current teachers, provide support to student teachers, and encourage an earlier start to pathways for becoming a teacher. I’m going to be working to pass my bill into law so that we can get more teachers to enter and stay in the profession. We need to ensure that all children—in Minnesota and across the country—receive the high-quality education they deserve. Making The Economy Work for Minnesota Families When I travel around Minnesota, I talk all the time with families who feel like the system isn’t working for them. They see that the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans continue to amass all the economic gains, while for those in the middle class, aspiring to join the middle class, or struggling to grow a small business, nothing seems to change—no matter how hard they work or how many hours they put in. That’s why I recently helped unveil a new economic agenda for our country, the “Better Deal” plan. The plan would do things like raise pay and create good-paying jobs by investing in infrastructure, boosting wages, supporting retirement benefits, and cracking down on the foreign trade cheats that steal our jobs. It brings down monthly expenses by cutting childcare costs, addressing phone and cable bills, and lowering prescription drug prices. And, it invests in the American worker with job-skills training and support to deploy high-speed internet all across the country. These policies, many of which I’ve championed for years, confront real issues that Minnesota workers and families are facing, rather than simply benefiting millionaires, billionaires, and corporate special interests. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here.

North Star Newsletter: July 2017

Improving Health Care for All Americans

I believe we need to work in an open and bipartisan way on real solutions to improve health care for all families in our country.

That’s why I’m glad my colleagues and I rejected a shameful Republican health care bill that would have hurt Minnesotans and millions of other Americans. We still have work to do in order to expand coverage, lower costs, and improve care, which is why I believe Republicans and Democrats should work together to build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act by fixing what needs fixing in the law.

I want to thank all the Minnesotans who shared their deeply moving and personal health care stories, including those that demonstrated how devastating cuts to Medicaid would affect them and their families. I’ve shared many of your stories with my colleagues in Washington. Believe me when I say that they truly matter and make a difference.

So keep making your voices heard, and I’ll keep urging my Republican colleagues to come back to the table, under regular order, and work together in an open and bipartisan way to improve health care for all Americans.

If we want to do this the right way, it's the only path forward.

Standing Up for Consumers

For as long as I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve been fighting to end forced arbitration, which is a practice often used by big companies to strip Americans of their legal rights and prevent them from seeking justice in a public court of law.

Forced arbitration forces consumers who have been wronged out of the courts and into a privatized justice system built to favor the powerful, and it prevents people from banding together to hold corporations accountable.

That’s why I strongly support a recently issued rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help protect Americans’ constitutional rights when they sign up for credit cards, checking accounts, or take out many types of loans.

Giant financial institutions and the big Wall Street banks hate this rule, because it means they won’t be able keep as many Americans locked out of the courts, and now they’re wielding their influence and power to get Congress to kill it. In fact, there was already a vote in the House of Representatives that took the first step towards dismantling the arbitration rule.

If we don’t push back, Wall Street could get its way, which means it’s time to ratchet up the fight. My colleagues and I should all be serving the people who sent us here, not powerful special interests.

Fighting for Minnesota Teachers and Students

Every child should have access to a world-class education—no matter where they live. But when our schools don’t have enough teachers and education professionals in the classroom, that goal is virtually impossible to achieve.

In communities across Minnesota and the country, our schools are struggling to hire and retain qualified teachers. And as a member of the Senate Education Committee, I want to address this problem head on.

Last year, my office met with education leaders in every region of the state, and we heard time and again that teacher shortages affect students, take a toll on schools, and lead to longer hours and more work for all of the great teachers we have now. I want to help give schools in both rural and urban districts the tools to hire and support the qualified teachers they need, and that’s why I recently introduced the Supporting Future Educators Act.

My bill would support training for both new and current teachers, provide support to student teachers, and encourage an earlier start to pathways for becoming a teacher.

I’m going to be working to pass my bill into law so that we can get more teachers to enter and stay in the profession. We need to ensure that all children—in Minnesota and across the country—receive the high-quality education they deserve.

Making The Economy Work for Minnesota Families

When I travel around Minnesota, I talk all the time with families who feel like the system isn’t working for them. They see that the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans continue to amass all the economic gains, while for those in the middle class, aspiring to join the middle class, or struggling to grow a small business, nothing seems to change—no matter how hard they work or how many hours they put in.

That’s why I recently helped unveil a new economic agenda for our country, the “Better Deal” plan. The plan would do things like raise pay and create good-paying jobs by investing in infrastructure, boosting wages, supporting retirement benefits, and cracking down on the foreign trade cheats that steal our jobs.

It brings down monthly expenses by cutting childcare costs, addressing phone and cable bills, and lowering prescription drug prices.

And, it invests in the American worker with job-skills training and support to deploy high-speed internet all across the country.

These policies, many of which I’ve championed for years, confront real issues that Minnesota workers and families are facing, rather than simply benefiting millionaires, billionaires, and corporate special interests.

To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page