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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
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Guest Commentary: Medical insurance


Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Robert and Monica Hatch, Lanesboro

Recently we read an on-line article that said a senior retiring at age 65 and living to a typical age of 85 should expect to spend $250,000 on medical expenses, including various premiums, for an annual bill of $12,500! That’s wholly ridiculous! Tossing those figures aside, most Medicare recipients know that $3000 - $4000 per yr. per person is a realistic average medical premium, for all parts. Then, we have the 20% out-of-pocket costs on hospital charges, plus copays. And, Medicare is senior’s only choice! Hmm.

Census information offers that individual average Social Security income is around $13,500 per year and senior’s next highest income source, dividends and interest, is about $7000 per year; $20,000 per year each. Heck, the average income of “all” those 65+, even those still working, is only a bit over $30,000 a year. So, if two people live at that average $40k retirement income they spend 15% - 20% of their income for healthcare premiums alone; $12,500 would be 31%! Over half of senior households actually live at “various income levels” below $30,000 per year while Medicare deductions from Social Security remain a “flat rate” with supplemental premiums in such a narrow range they also amount to another set of “flat rates”!

C’mon! Are we all 6Feet tall? Human nature and nurture are rife with variation! People’s incomes are all over the map, just like our other characteristics. Health care premiums need to reflect this reality and be “means tested”. Minnesota Care uses about 1.5% of household income per person to set its premiums. The $100 Medicare takes from Social Security is 1.4% for the recipient making $84,000 per year! Why isn’t that “percentage rate” good for everyone?

This system, designed by and for the medical-pharmaceutical-insurance complex and enacted by a congress they’ve bought, is not only unsustainable it’s inhumane and oppressive! It’s a hostage program! Details of The Affordable Care Act come out this October but so far we couldn’t find any new and encouraging insurance alternatives. One of us is on Medicare and we refused the medical supplemental programs due to these unreasonable costs! We’ve taken a page out of the corporate cost control handbook, seeking cheaper labor, service and components away from home, and found a clinic in Wisconsin to access more affordable medical services. They of .....
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Congress falls short on national security

By Lee Hamilton

Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Lee H. Hamilton Wherever you stood on Sen. Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster to delay John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director, or on the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Brennan and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, they all serve as a rem ..... 
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Guest Commentary: Liquor store, new city building, or money pit

By Brett Kues

Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Brett Kues I recently watched a speech given at the Fellowship Foundation National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. by Dr Benjamin Carson. He told a story about a friend who loved to buy his mom expensive and extravagant Christmas gifts. On ..... 
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Guest Commentary: Legislature must pass Senate File 786 to protect rural communities from frac sand rush

Fri, Mar 15th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Vince Ready For the first time in my life, I travelled to the State Capitol from my home in Saratoga Township in Winona County. I was there with many of my neighbors and concerned citizens to let the Legislature know that they must act to protec ..... 
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Me like hockey

Fri, Mar 15th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

In a classic case of “Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” I find myself paying more attention to the professional hockey season this year than I ever really have before. I have to admit, when the negotiations broke down, I thought to ..... 
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What’s ahead in Congress this year

By Lee Hamilton

Fri, Mar 8th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

Earlier this year, it seemed there might be some hope for Capitol Hill when Congress dealt easily with raising the debt ceiling. But don’t let that single episode fool you. As President Obama and House Republicans circle each other over the forthc ..... 
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Stupid is as stupid does

Fri, Mar 8th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

This well known quote from Forrest Gump seems to mean a person is tagged with the label of stupid when he or she does stupid things, regardless of that person’s intelligence. Our national political leaders have once again earned this designation. ..... 
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We are all a nation of immigrants

Fri, Mar 1st, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Frank W. Hawthorne “A [Christian] religious outlook permeates Arnold Toynbee’s “Study of History, 1934-1961” and made it especially popular in the United States, for Toynbee rejected Greek humanism, the Enlightenment belief in humanity ..... 
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One Moment Please... Challenging conventional wisdom

Fri, Mar 1st, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

I tend to gravitate toward non-fiction, informational reading and multimedia content, and I have recently taken an interest in articles and videos about organizational culture and education systems. This past week seemed to be a mixture of both. Ch ..... 
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