Please Keep Your Legislator Outside

IT TOOK CONSUMER advocates to point out to the second-most-powerful man in the state that legislators aren't really what you think of when you say "average citizens." Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe had stunned some Capitol watchers when he appointed state Sens. Linda Berglin (DFL-Minneapolis) and Sheila Kiscaden (DFL-Rochester) to a new health-care consumer advisory board. Meant to provide politicians with a Joe Schmo perspective on the health-care industry, the 18-member board was created as a result of growing fears over the consolidation of care in the hands of a few massive corporations. At a Capitol inundated with powerful corporate lobbyists, citizen groups saw the consumer board--none of whose members can be a registered lobbyist or someone with "a material interest" in the industry--as their best shot at gaining equal access.

Faced with criticism, Moe earlier this month reversed the appointments of the two senators. "There was a little miscommunication" about the appointments, Kiscaden says gamely. "Now the leadership understands what their duties are, and they will be appointing some consumer members."

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