Activism

By Barb Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

April 11 brought Minnesotans together for a Day of Action for Healthcare for All. A crowd gathered near Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s headquarters in Eagan to rally for a publicly funded healthcare system that covers everyone and costs less: Medicare for All.

Speakers from the Minnesota Nurses Association, National Nurses United, the Land Stewardship Project, and Physicians for a National Health Program energized dozens of attendees with a call for Medicare for All, which would ensure access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

The group then went to Blue Cross/Blue Shield headquarters with a letter asking for Blue Cross CEO Michael Guyette to publicly commit to lowering premiums and selling individual insurance products statewide.
… Read more about: Day of Action Calls for Healthcare for All  »

By Barb Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

More than 500 student nurses from schools throughout Minnesota learned the importance of advocating for patients at the bedside and in the public arena at MNA’s Student Day on the Hill on April 4.

“You need to get your voices out there for patients and the profession,” Essentia Health Duluth RN and MNA member Emily Kniskern told students and faculty, adding that legislators often are not familiar with nurses’ issues.

“Legislators need nurses’ and patients’ perspectives” so they can make decisions that ensure nurses can safely care for their patients, she said.
… Read more about: Nursing students learn key role: advocating for patients away from the bedside  »

By Katie Gjertson

MNA Political Coordinator

This June 9 – 11, several thousand progressive activists from across the country will gather in Chicago for the People’s Summit 2.0. It’s a multi-organizational, multi-racial, multi-issue conference, co-hosted by the National Nurses United. The event goals are to form a broad coalition committed to building a people’s movement united around social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

MNA members are invited to attend, and those who haven’t been to an event like this before are the perfect candidate. These events feature high-powered speeches by progressive leaders that will leave participants fired up to get involved.
… Read more about: The People’s Summit 2.0  »

By Geri Katz

MNA Healthcare Reform Specialist

Among the group for today’s North Memorial Day on the Hill were two first-time attendees. Erica and Ayan had never been to the Capitol before, which allowed me to do my favorite part of my job: introduce nurses to their elected officials and start them on their journey as citizen lobbyists.

At this point in the legislative session, everything is moving quickly. Legislators are rushing to meet deadlines, and it can be hard to catch them. We were lucky to find both Erica and Ayan’s state representatives today (in addition to several others) and share with them what it’s like to be a bedside nurse at a Level I Trauma Center.
… Read more about: Nurses Visit the Capitol for the First Time  »

By Cameron Fure

MNA Political Organizer

 

Since the election this last fall, many have been searching for ways to get involved in their local communities and play a bigger role in influencing change in our country. Some decisions may be made behind closed doors in the corridors of power of Saint Paul and Washington, DC, but we can fight back—with our pocketbooks. Where we spend our dollars matters, and companies notice when we patronize businesses we like and boycott those that exhibit questionable or unacceptable behavior.

Large financial institutions have reaped the benefits of doing business in our country by charging exorbitant overdraft fees and infinitely increasing fees when using out-of-network ATMs.
… Read more about: Fight Back with Your Friendly, Neighborhood Credit Union  »

By Rose Roach

MNA Executive Director

 

The Minnesota Nurses Association supports the Minnesota Health Act as proposed by Roseville Senator John Marty and Northfield Representative David Bly (SF 219/HF358). We say loudly and enthusiastically, it’s about time. Finally, we see the proven solution to the healthcare crisis that rages on in this state and in this country.

Nurses don’t care about your insurance card or your credit card—the only card they’re interested in is your get-well card. As natural advocates for their patients and front line workers in the healthcare world, who better to articulate the reality of a system that puts corporate greed over human need?
… Read more about: Nurses Support the Minnesota Health Act  »

By Mathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

We’ve detailed at length the connections between Piper Jaffray and Allina. Piper Jaffray, as you recall, served as a broker/dealer to a 2007 “Auction Rate Security” bond offering that ultimately led Allina to sue. Allina claimed that the other broker-dealer (UBS) knew the Auction Rate Security market would fail mere months after the bond offering, but, interestingly, Allina did not make that claim against Piper. This transaction caused Allina to lose tens of millions of dollars in penalty interest rates, interest rate swaps, and early termination fees when it refinanced the bonds.
… Read more about: MNA Requests Meeting with US Bank in order to Save Allina Money  »

By Mathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

 

Despite all of its bad deals and big debts, Allina Health is still making piles of money. As this space detailed back in June, Allina has made more than $1.3 billion dollars in net revenue over the past 6 years for which financial disclosures are available. That’s after expenses, including salaries, $23.9 million in executive pay, millions to buy out McDonalds’ lease, $60 million lost on bad loans, and so on.

While Allina is a not-for-profit company, it still has to pay taxes on things like capital gains.
… Read more about: Where Are Your Medicare Dollars Taking a Vacation?  »

Allina big debt

By

Mathew Keller and Jordan Ash

Allina Health claims it needs to take $10 million out of the pockets and healthcare of its nurses. The question is why, which begs a look at Allina’s finances. A check of Allina’s books, however, makes one question whether the company really is in good hands.

For starters, the amount Allina pays annually to big banks has grown to $60 million dollars a year. Allina’s current debt of $880 million dollars, in fact, represents a whopping 60 percent increase from just 10 years ago when Allina had $550 million in debt.
… Read more about: Allina’s Debt to Big Banks Increases by 60 Percent  »