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Things are better when they are made in Minnesota

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opinion Alexandria, 56308
Echo Press
(320) 763-3258 customer support
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

To the editor:

Each new day brings more news about various problems the federal health care marketplace is having. The marketplace made in Minnesota, MNsure, is off and running. By the middle of October, over 12,000 accounts have been created and nearly 4,000 people have already enrolled in new plans. That’s only after two weeks. We still have several months before people face any kind of deadline to sign up. Part of the reason enrollment is already so high is because the website is working better than the one in Washington. But the plans offered there, some as low as $106 a month for our area, are also much more affordable. Overall, the Minnesota marketplace is just a much better product.

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When it comes to unemployment, the national rate isn’t even close to Minnesota. Even after improving from 7.9 percent earlier this year to 7.2 percent now, the national unemployment rate is still way higher than our state rate of 5.1 percent. That kind of economic performance has helped us pay back $636 million owed to Minnesota schools. So on top of lowering unemployment and gaining back all jobs lost during the recession, we’ve now also paid back all the money borrowed from schools two years ago.

Our strong economy comes from the businesses that support our communities. And now, Minnesota has a new tool to help strengthen those businesses even more. Just this past week, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) unveiled a new “Made in Minnesota” directory on their website that helps businesses in the state find suppliers and vendors right here in Minnesota. It helps support our state economy by putting Minnesota companies first.

That’s good, because we all know that anything made in Minnesota is going to be much better than the alternative.

Rep. Jay McNamar, District 12A Elbow Lake, MN

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