For more information contact: Peter Glessing 651-296-4230
Happy New Year to you and your family! As I prepare for the upcoming legislative session – which will begin on February 25 – I’m eager to get your feedback on state legislative issues.
In this new year, I’d like to pose a question to you: Are you better off with your health care coverage – including monthly premiums – than you were one year ago?
Over the past several months we’ve seen a litany of problems coming out of MNsure, the state agency run by unelected partisan appointees charged with implementing Obamacare in Minnesota. Whether it was releasing the Social Security numbers of over a thousand Minnesotans, innumerable policy cancellations, or skyrocketing costs, MNsure surely has not lived up to its promises.
I was pleased to hear that the non-partisan legislative auditor announced he would be conducting a top-to-bottom audit of MNsure this year. Specifically, the legislative auditor plans to track how taxpayer dollars were spent and investigate the timeline detailing when officials with authority over MNsure knew about the problems but chose to remain silent.
Even Governor Dayton recently stated that MNsure fell “far short of the mark” and that the people of Minnesota have been “terribly inconvenienced” by the problems caused by MNsure. Based on the feedback I’ve been receiving from constituents, I’d have to say that is quite the understatement. Unfortunately for the hardworking taxpayers of Minnesota, I believe it’s only the beginning.
Already, the information we’re receiving directly from MNsure is concerning. On January 8, MNsure provided updated demographic information for individual market enrollment. In order to achieve its financial targets, the federal government set a goal of about 33% of enrollees to fall between the ages of 18-35. Through January 4, just 20.4% of MNsure individual market enrollees were in that age group. If enrollment patterns continue at this pace, we’ll likely see even higher insurance premiums next year.
Meanwhile, the pace of individual market enrollment is far behind MNsure's 2014 open enrollment goals. Through Jan. 4, paid enrollment (20,288) was less than one third (29%) of MNsure's goal for enrollment in coverage effective on or before April 1 (69,904). Actual enrollment is even worse compared to the lowest enrollment scenario provided in the fiscal note for the Exchange legislation (HF 5), which projected 164,000 individual market plans purchased in 2014.
You’ll hear Democrat legislators claim that because of Obamacare and MNsure, Minnesota has the lowest health insurance premiums in the nation. What they don’t mention is that MNsure’s own economists predicted that Minnesotans’ insurance premiums will likely rise on average by up to 30% this year. Also, they neglect to mention that because MNsure is supposed to fund itself through a tax on health insurance plans, its failure to attract private market enrollees will likely cause MNsure to run deficits in future years. In other words, don’t be surprised to see higher taxes on your health insurance plans and even more requests for your tax dollars from the legislature because of this ill-conceived government healthcare bureaucracy. I can assure you that I will be a solid “no” vote on any such “bailout” proposal.
I understand that your healthcare plan isn’t simply just an insurance plan. Rather, it’s how you provide security for yourself and your family when health issues arise. Making sure people have access to quality healthcare is critical. Unfortunately, the implementation of Obamacare in Minnesota is imposing layers of bureaucracy between individuals and their doctors and costing families the insurance and doctors they like. The last thing Minnesotans need is more hassles, higher costs, and confusion regarding their healthcare brought on by Democrats in St. Paul.
While not perfect, Minnesota did an excellent job delivering quality healthcare at affordable rates prior to Obamacare’s implementation in Minnesota. When only 9.2% of our citizens lacked coverage prior to MNsure’s creation, a one-size-fits-all solution from St. Paul dictated by Washington, D.C. has resulted in a big mistake that most Minnesotans simply can’t afford.
As always, please feel free contact me by e-mail at Rep.Cindy.Pugh@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4315. You can also send me mail to my office address: 313 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.