North Star Newsletter: The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Senator Al Franken
2013-08-22 13:22:05
North Star Newsletter | August 2013 The Great Minnesota Get-Together It's August, and that means it's time for the State Fair. The fair is one of my favorite times of the year, because it gives me the opportunity to meet with and talk to Minnesotans from across the state. And whether you go to the fair for the food (roasted corn is my favorite), grandstand performances, or craft and livestock shows, I hope you'll find the time to stop by my booth on the northwest corner of Judson Avenue and Underwood Street—near the Dairy Building and Haunted House. I really enjoy spending time at my booth to hear what's on Minnesotans' minds. I encourage you to stop by to say hi, discuss issues, take my annual State Fair Survey, and to let me know how I'm doing. And check out the piece I wrote for the website BuzzFeed.com outlining my top 13 reasons why the State Fair is the best in the country. You can read my list here. Stopping by Vikings Training Camp Earlier this month, I traveled to Mankato to talk with local businesses, educators, and community leaders about a bill I recently introduced to help train Minnesota workers for high-skill jobs that are currently going unfilled. But in-between meetings I had the opportunity to drop by the Minnesota Vikings training camp and visit with players, coaches, and fans. Like so many fellow Minnesotans, I've been a lifelong supporter of the Vikings. So, meeting the players and coaches and talking about the upcoming season was an exciting opportunity. The highlight for me had to be playing catch with quarterback Matt Cassel, which you can watch a video of here. Hopefully, this season will be a good one for the Vikings. And with the first game against the Detroit Lions just around the corner, I look forward to watching every chance I can. Helping Keep Health Care Costs in Check for Minnesotans This month, over 9,000 Minnesotans and more than 8.5 million people across the country benefited from health insurance company rebates because of a provision I wrote into the health reform law. My provision, the Medical Loss Ratio—sometimes called the 80/20 rule—has already helped save Americans billions of dollars in rebates, and is one of the largest consumer cost savers in the health reform law. Before my provision, insurance companies could spend as much as they wanted on things other than health care—administrative costs, marketing, profits, and CEO salaries to name a few. My provision says simply that a health insurance company must spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual health care. If they don't, they have to rebate the difference to customers. My provision is working and I'm very proud because it's making insurance companies more efficient and it's helping keep health care costs in check for Minnesotans and their families. Talking with Minnesota's Farmers and Ranchers With one-in-five Minnesota jobs tied to agriculture, this is a critically important time for our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Earlier this month, as Minnesotans gathered for FarmFest near Redwood Falls, I took advantage of the opportunity to talk with producers and farm leaders about issues that are important to them. I heard over and over how important it is that Congress finally finish the job of passing a five-year Farm Bill. And as the author of the energy section in the Senate's Farm Bill—which passed with strong bipartisan support—I was especially pleased to be part of a panel discussion on how important renewable energy is to our state's economic future. In the coming months, I will continue my work on issues that are important to Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, and I will press to keep Minnesota agriculture as a top priority. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here: franken.senate.gov/

North Star Newsletter | August 2013

It's August, and that means it's time for the State Fair. The fair is one of my favorite times of the year, because it gives me the opportunity to meet with and talk to Minnesotans from across the state.

And whether you go to the fair for the food (roasted corn is my favorite), grandstand performances, or craft and livestock shows, I hope you'll find the time to stop by my booth on the northwest corner of Judson Avenue and Underwood Street—near the Dairy Building and Haunted House.

I really enjoy spending time at my booth to hear what's on Minnesotans' minds. I encourage you to stop by to say hi, discuss issues, take my annual State Fair Survey, and to let me know how I'm doing.

And check out the piece I wrote for the website BuzzFeed.com outlining my top 13 reasons why the State Fair is the best in the country. You can read my list here.

"

Earlier this month, I traveled to Mankato to talk with local businesses, educators, and community leaders about a bill I recently introduced to help train Minnesota workers for high-skill jobs that are currently going unfilled. But in-between meetings I had the opportunity to drop by the Minnesota Vikings training camp and visit with players, coaches, and fans.

Like so many fellow Minnesotans, I've been a lifelong supporter of the Vikings. So, meeting the players and coaches and talking about the upcoming season was an exciting opportunity. The highlight for me had to be playing catch with quarterback Matt Cassel, which you can watch a video of here.

"

Hopefully, this season will be a good one for the Vikings. And with the first game against the Detroit Lions just around the corner, I look forward to watching every chance I can.

This month, over 9,000 Minnesotans and more than 8.5 million people across the country benefited from health insurance company rebates because of a provision I wrote into the health reform law.

My provision, the Medical Loss Ratio—sometimes called the 80/20 rule—has already helped save Americans billions of dollars in rebates, and is one of the largest consumer cost savers in the health reform law.

Before my provision, insurance companies could spend as much as they wanted on things other than health care—administrative costs, marketing, profits, and CEO salaries to name a few. My provision says simply that a health insurance company must spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual health care. If they don't, they have to rebate the difference to customers.

My provision is working and I'm very proud because it's making insurance companies more efficient and it's helping keep health care costs in check for Minnesotans and their families.

With one-in-five Minnesota jobs tied to agriculture, this is a critically important time for our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Earlier this month, as Minnesotans gathered for FarmFest near Redwood Falls, I took advantage of the opportunity to talk with producers and farm leaders about issues that are important to them.

I heard over and over how important it is that Congress finally finish the job of passing a five-year Farm Bill. And as the author of the energy section in the Senate's Farm Bill—which passed with strong bipartisan support—I was especially pleased to be part of a panel discussion on how important renewable energy is to our state's economic future.

In the coming months, I will continue my work on issues that are important to Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, and I will press to keep Minnesota agriculture as a top priority.

To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here: