"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Don't squander a buildable foundation


Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Just about a year ago on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) after months and months of political wrangling. It is not perfect, may not be complete and it certainly is complicated, but it is a beginning, a starting point. I must admit even after reading up on its provisions and other information about the law, I still am somewhat confused. The confusion is partly due to disinformation from both sides of the issue. The Republicans in Congress tried to repeal the law in January, without trying to salvage the best of it. In my opinion, Congress should take a fair look at it and build on it.

The PPACA is intended to rein in health care costs and provide equitable care and better access to care. We live in a rural county where many do not have access to care through their employer. Small rural businesses often can't provide affordable health care insurance for their workers. Many people are self employed. How many of the self employed have a spouse that works off the farm or away from the business in part to gain affordable and quality health insurance coverage?

This law has the potential to make affordable health insurance more available in rural communities. Rural communities often have aging populations and the communities may be experiencing a decline in numbers. The PPACA has positive aspects for rural areas by expanding health care educational programs, providing more benefits and more coverage for children, improving access to preventative health care services, and increasing the availability of health care workers. Funding will be available to make improvements in technology and reform the delivery system in order to increase the availability and quality of care along with an effort to make care more affordable.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a nationally recognized policy analysis organization which has its focus in the Midwest and the Great Plains. Data gathered in 2002 finds 24 percent of rural residents are uninsured compared with 18 percent of urban residents. People in remote areas tend to possess less wealth and are older. Rural residents spend a higher proportion of their income on health insurance and it often fails to pay for as much of their health care expenses.

Individual insurance plans cover only about 63 percent of costs, while 75 percent of health costs are covered by group plans. As many as half of the individual plans cover only about .....
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One moment, please... What was I thinking?

Mon, Mar 7th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Last week's newspaper contained a letter to the editor from Bob Boyum of Peterson, Minn., which has been a point of contention for a few of our readers.

What's interesting to me is the wide range of perspectives on Mr. Boyum's letter and que ..... 
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How is wealth created?

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary



There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth:

The first by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors -- this robbery;

The second by commerce, which is generally cheating;

The thi ..... 
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Guest Commentary: Teachers, unions and collective bargaining

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary



As a retired Minnesota teacher and a former union member, I can sympathize with the teachers in Wisconsin and other states where Republican governors are attempting to weaken or destroy collective bargaining and public unions.

First ..... 
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Government cannot create wealth

Fri, Feb 25th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Based on millions of instructions millions of Americans give the marketplace every day, the market is super genius in allocating resources. Government however, is a comparative dunce given that the spending decisions it makes is based on politics. I ..... 
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Flights of consciousness before sleep

Fri, Feb 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

I don't seem to be able to control my thoughts before I fall asleep. At the risk of being labeled a misogynist, I must admit I have been thinking about Michele Bachmann's historical error of claiming the "founders" worked tirelessly to end slavery, ..... 
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Green Acres Property tax law gets pruned

Fri, Feb 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

By Jeremy Miller, State Senator for Minnesota District 31

In addition to the primary tasks of balancing the budget and putting more Minnesotans back to work, there are a number of other initiatives that we are occupied with in St. Paul. Withi ..... 
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A new way of being

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
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A new way of being

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
[Read the Rest]
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