Blog posts categorized as Issues will pull into the Issues & Advocacy > Issues page.

This weekend marks the second anniversary of our peacetime emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, we have lost over 12,000 Minnesotans and over 6 million worldwide. Among those lost are family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and other loved ones. Among those lost are some of our own—nurses and healthcare professionals.

We have suffered through the unthinkable. We have dealt with inadequate PPE, unsafe staffing levels, moral injury, and lip-service from those who have the power to solve these problems. But through it all, we’ve continued to do what we’ve always done—care for our patients.

We are tired and we are heartbroken, yes.
… Read more about: Statement from MNA President Mary C. Turner, RN on the Second Anniversary of the MN Peacetime Emergency for the COVID-19 Pandemic  »

By Katie Gjertson

MNA Political Coordinator


Minnesota’s Primary Election is right around the corner! Eligible voters from every corner of the state will have their chance to cast their ballot in support of the candidates they believe line up with their values, their issues and their vision for the future of Minnesota. Primary elections are our opportunity, as voters, to shape the ticket to reflect what we want it to be in November. Let’s get out the vote for the 2018 Minnesota primary!

Never voted in a Primary Election before? Here are the top ten things you need to know before you head to the polls.
… Read more about: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know to Be a Primary Voter  »


By Jackie O’Shea

MNA Political Organizer

Elections are the root of our democracy, and saying 2018 is going to be a hectic year politically is an understatement. In Minnesota, there are open races for Governor and Lieutenant Governor; statewide races for Attorney General, Auditor, and Secretary of State and a US Senator; eight U.S. Congressional races, and 134 seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives all up for re-election this year. Plus, other important local races, including city council seats, school board commissioners, and county elected positions are up for grabs.


Electing nurse champions is the important first step towards the main goal of our political organizing, which is passing legislation.
… Read more about: Holding Our Democracy Accountable  »

big pharma

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

It’s no secret that the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing in the United States. What is less obvious are the reasons driving these increases. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “U.S. health care spending increased 4.3 percent to reach $3.3 trillion, or $10,348 per person in 2016”[1]. Hospital spending accounts for 32 percent of costs while spending on prescription drugs accounts for 10 percent. Although many factors contribute to constant increases in cost of care, pharmaceutical and medical waste are culprits that could be easily addressed, yet remain a significant problem for many patients, nursing homes, and hospitals. 
… Read more about: Medical Waste and the Rising Cost of Healthcare  »


By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

Hospital and health system consolidation is a rapidly expanding trend across the country, and Minnesota is no exception. Many large and mid-sized health systems have been looking to privatize the state’s dwindling number of public hospitals, combine smaller non-profit systems, and also incorporate physicians’ groups and outpatient services into hospital systems. The driving arguments to lobby for these mergers are that larger entities can provide more integrated care and have the ability to make bigger financial investments to improve the quality of care via new tools, such as electronic health records systems. Many studies, however, have shown that price, cost and quality of care are not improved by mergers (see below for links).
… Read more about: Why Minnesotans Should Pay Attention to Hospital Consolidation  »

Contact:  Buddy Robinson
(218) 727-0207

Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Healthcare Advocates Call for HMO Accountability
HMOs and state contracts need to be audited as they stand to pocket $6 billion

ST. PAUL – May 4, 2017 – Healthcare advocates and nurses are calling for accountability of the state’s Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), including their state contracts assets worth billions of dollars. The Minnesota Legislature has deregulated HMOs to become for-profit entities, which would allow them to convert $6 billion in public assets to shareholders.

“There are significant indications of fraudulent overpayments – wasting both state and federal taxpayer funds,” said Buddy Robinson of the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition.
… Read more about: Media Advisory  »

By Charlotte Zabawa RN

Retired Nurse and MNA Member

I am Charlotte Zabawa, and I am a retired registered nurse and a member of the Minnesota Nurses Association and a member of the SCVWA Indivisible. For many years, I’ve devoted my volunteer time to moving us closer to a humane healthcare system that cares for everyone when they need it, not just when they can afford it. I spent most of my career as a post-partum nurse, and I can tell you how desperately we need to fix our broken healthcare system.
… Read more about: The Time for Humane Healthcare for All is Now  »

by Jon Tollefson

MNA Government Affairs Specialist


What a strange weekend! Most of it spent waiting for Senate DFLers and House Republicans to announce any agreements at all, whether on transportation, taxes, bonding, or the supplemental budget. At least the weather was nice, and the new Senate Office Building has comfortable hearing rooms and a lovely terrace overlooking the Capitol.


As often happens at the end of session, the last day was a frantic mix of private negotiations, quick floor sessions – and a lot of waiting around.


The House and Senate, as unfortunately has become usual, waited until the very last possible hour to finalize their agreements


Even then, they didn’t actually agree.
… Read more about: The Minnesota Mess  »

By Jon Tollefson

MNA Governmental Affairs Specialist

The 2016 Legislative Session has been underway for a little over one month now, and we are already close to the final stage: budget negotiations. With one of the shortest sessions in many years, the House and Senate have been moving quickly to finish work from last year on transportation and taxes, adjust government spending for this two-year period, and put together a bonding bill for major projects around the state.


When it comes to healthcare issues, the two political parties are putting forward two very different visions, and the Minnesota Nurses Association has something to say about it.
… Read more about: One Capitol, Two Views on How to Treat Patients  »

By Megan Gavin

MNA Education Specialist

Why you should use some of your precious free time to attend an MNA education session

In the 1960s it was common practice for hospitals to charge nurses for breaking hospital property, which included glass vials of medication. Frustrated by low pay and practices such as this, a group of nurses successfully organized their co-workers to challenge this policy. Today the breakage clause, which states “it is not the policy of the hospital to charge nurses for breakage,” is one of the oldest sections in MNA contracts.


MNA has more than hundred years of history to learn from, ideas to copy, and people to emulate.
… Read more about: Why you should use some of your precious free time to attend an MNA education session  »