Senator Al Franken signed on as a co-sponsor to a single-payer healthcare legislation that Senator Bernie Sanders is sponsoring. Northfield Hospital and Clinics President & CEO, Steve Underdahl explained, “it’s kind of the Medicare-for-all sort of idea. Which, as I understand the bones of this one, would kind of take the same type of government sponsored healthcare like we have for Medicare and provide that across the spectrum”. He said it may gain a little more traction, “partially because the pay points for healthcare among regular folks have grown so much over the last few years that lots
of people that are lucky enough to have health insurance now pay for big pieces of their healthcare out of their own pocket”. That’s due to high deductible plans that cost thousands more. Underdahl added, “now on the other side of the political aisle, there’s already posturing saying, you know, that it would be kind of over our dead bodies. So I think this is far from a settled situation! My speculation is we’ll have additional conversations about that”. He said, generally, the single payer system becomes a government sponsored way to pay for everyone. Insurance as we know it, would go away. That would be a significant overhaul. He said the other math problem with it, “Medicare for everybody, if we just use the current medicare and medicaid programs, the challenge with those programs right now is that they work okay but they don’t pay as much oftentimes as it costs to deliver the service”. That means, right now, those with insurance, pay a higher cost to pay the difference making up for the actual medical costs. There will be much more to this conversation in the future.
Nfld schools run solely on sustainable energy
Class is back in session in Northfield and schools in the district have new, clean energy sources to power students’ learning thanks to Xcel Energy’s Renewable*Connect program. Launched earlier this year, Renewable*Connect gives customers the choice to power a portion or all of their energy from a blend of local wind and solar projects. As part of the District’s 10 year agreement, six buildings – Northfield High School, Northfield Middle School, three elementary schools, and a pre-school/area learning center – are being powered with 100 percent renewable energy. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said the district is excited to be partnered with Xcel Energy and participating in their Renewable*Connect program as it offers stable pricing for the school district and aligns with their vision for sustainability.
Nfld Council set to vote on Prelim levy tonight
The Northfield City Council meets tonight at 6 o’clock. There are a number of agenda items including amending previous 2017 street reclamation assessments, approval of a design for the 2018 road projects, the tax levy (they’re considering 3 options, 8%, 8.5% or 9%), an update on the Transit Hub plan and adoption of their Strategic Plan. Meetings are streamed live on the City’s website. Ecomments are available on regular agenda items through noon the day of the meeting. There’s also a space for Open comments. Mayor Pownell and Administrator Martig will be in studio at 7:20 tomorrow morning with a recap.