Renee Richardson's article in Sunday's paper should raise some questions and hopefully some answers.
I have been on Minnesota Care for two years, but this year our family finally had an income of $43,300.00 and our family size dropped from 5 to 3. This technically caused us to be not eligible for Minnesota Care, but because they can not drop us like regular insurance, they can charge us $771 per month for the rest of our lives.
That amount is more than payroll taxes, house payment and groceries. So we had to decide whether to carry health insurance or pay the house payment and the electric bill, or stop having payroll taxes taken out, or have one of us quit working (yes, we are a two-earner family and have been for 23 years). So, you can see we may gamble with our health, but at least we can have a house to live in, food, and our jobs. Would you rather have homeless, hungry people on insurance, or have no insurance and have a home and food?
We plan on dropping Minnesotacare and setting up our own savings account to cover medical bills, since we normally only have about $1500 in medical bills per year any way.
Insurance companies have quoted me $570 per month for three and a $1000 deductible.
Please look for ways to help us caught in the middle have insurance we can afford with out losing everything we have. There are many like us out there.
Upset with the DNR
Minnesota statute M.S. 15.99 requires state agencies to approve or deny permits and licenses in a reasonable amount of time (60 days).
Unfortunately the DNR seems to think this is one of many laws they can violate with impunity.
In early February 2001 I sent a $75 amendment fee to the Waters Division along with a request to increase my water permit. They accepted and cashed that check on February 26, 2001. Now, nearly two years later Waters is trying to amend the permit to a lesser amount. They claim they are just now getting to it. The real intention is to cut off the water supply to my fish farm for filing ethics complaints.
The first guy from Waters slipped up and said Fisheries had "questions". Fisheries has nothing to do with issuing water appropriation permits. Cutting the water supply to my farm is just more retaliation from the Fisheries division.
I explained to the Waters permit supervisor that the check had been accepted and cashed nearly two years ago and that it would violate M.S. 15.99. He gave me the clear impression that the law would be ignored.
This isn't the first time the DNR has violated M.S.15.99. The last time Fisheries went back in time and changed a license issued four years earlier to cover up retaliation.
This is like the DNR Fisheries is thumbing their nose at the Legislature and the majority of Minnesotans who obey the laws of our state. I can only hope the new DNR commissioner can get rid of the Minnow Mafia and restore public trust in this division.
Someone should also find out why Fisheries is allowing unharvested walleye fingerlings to die unused in rearing ponds this winter while the stocking quota goes unmet.
Very good question
In a January 8, 2002, Brainerd Dispatch editorial, the question was asked "When will the Brainerd School Board, the Crow Wing County Board and the Baxter City Council televise their meetings? Very good question.
When governmental entities and candidates are courting voters there are plenty of promises and happy talk to go around. Then, after the votes are counted, it is business as usual. Do the anointed elected forget they are accountable to the people that elected them? Does the school board not remember the bond issue passed by only 93 votes?
The year 2003 promises to be a challenging year all for units of government. So why are citizens not given an opportunity to see the decision-making process at work via television? That is also a very good question. If you will not televise, then please answer the question "Why not?"
I would like to encourage other citizens to sound off on this very important issue.
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