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FireDogLake: Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Working Where Applicable

The Government Accountability Office gave a fairly glowing report about the efect of the federal medical loss ratio, a policy inserted into the Affordable Care Act by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) that forces insurance companies to spend 80-85% of their premiums (depending on the type of coverage) on medical treatment, and to rebate customers if…

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WPBF: Nelson To Bachmann: Everglades Drilling ‘Not A Wise Thing To Do’

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson reacted strongly Monday to a presidential candidate’s claim that she’d be willing to drill for oil in the Everglades. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said she’d consider drilling for oil and gas in the Everglades if it can be done responsibly, adding that the U.S. needs to access all the energy resources…

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MPR News: Ellison and allies want “Super Committee” to focus on jobs

Keith Ellison and other House progressives want the so-called Congressional “Super Committee” that’s supposed to find major deficit savings to also focus on job creation. The DFL Congressman asked the committee’s co-chairs, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), to hold public hearings on how Congress can energize the job market rather than…

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Independent Record: Therapeutic ties to water

For a lot of Montanans, fly fishing is a way of life. For others, like Travis Williams, it’s a lifesaver. Williams joined the Marine Corps in 2002, and was a member of Lima Company’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. In August 2005, his entire squad was killed in Iraq. He left the Corps in 2006. Fishing,…

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Columbus Dispatch: Grand Lake St. Marys to get its methane digester

Here’s some good news for a lake used to lots of bad. Grand Lake St. Marys, the poster child for algae pollution in Ohio, is getting some federal help. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office announced this morning that the Department of Agriculture is making available $1 million toward the purchase of a methane digester. What…

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TheAdvocate.com: Gillibrand’s Blunt Response on GOP’s Plans: “They Will Fail”

New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand knows how which applause line works with an LGBT audience. During a forum on LGBT rights in New York, a member of the audience asked about presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s desire to reinstate “don’t ask, don’t tell” and amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. “After ‘I Do’: What’s…

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Providence Journal: U.S. calls for wind farms off R.I. coast

A top official in the Obama administration visited Quonset Point on Wednesday and, with Narragansett Bay as the backdrop, announced a major step forward in developing wind farms off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, flanked by Governor Chafee and members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, said the…

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The Hill: Defense spending fuels the debt crisis

Since the start of the 112th Congress, the U.S. House Republican majority –with its dozens of new Tea Party members – has been telling the American people our country is “broke.” During the budget debate, Tea Party Republicans argued the unprecedented fiscal crisis demands huge spending cuts to vital programs and investments that make our…

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Alexandria Echo Press: Klobuchar: Reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act is critical

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar called for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) at a Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, highlighting the critical role legislation has had in protecting women and children for 17 years. Read the whole article >>

Duluth News Tribune: Our view: Applause for efforts to ease pain at pump

With gas prices sprinting toward $4 a gallon — and probably going higher — Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar got to wondering: Can we limit excessive price speculation in the oil markets like we attempted in 2008, the last time gas prices spiked? Congress responded then with measures to rein in the sort of speculating by hedge funds, investment banks and other financial entities that artificially and unfairly inflates gas prices.

Yesterday, at a busy gas station in Minneapolis, Klobuchar answered that question: Yes, we can. Or, at least we can try. She announced a letter she sent to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission urging immediate action.