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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peggy Scott (R)

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Legislative Update (Jan. 15, 2014)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dear Neighbor,

Are you better off with your healthcare coverage than you were one year ago?

MNsure, the state agency charged with implementing Obamacare in Minnesota, has been failing Minnesotans. 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 of MNsure. I agree with those sentiments. Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Minnesota, it’s only just the beginning.

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 low enrollment scenario provided in the fiscal note for the exchange legislation (HF 5).  The low enrollment scenario projected 164,000 individual market plans purchased in 2014.

On January 8, MNsure provided updated demographic information for individual market enrollment. The federal government set a goal of about 33% of enrollees to be 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 like this, you’ll likely see even higher insurance premiums next year.

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 you can't buy insurance in other states, and MNsure's own economists predicted that Minnesotans’ insurance premiums will go up 30% this year.  Also, they decline 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-organized healthcare bureaucracy.

Your healthcare plan isn’t simply just an insurance plan. It’s how you secure you 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 you and your doctor. The last thing Minnesotans need is more hassles, higher costs, and confusion about their healthcare brought on Democrats in St. Paul.

As, always, I’m interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Peggy.Scott@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4231. You can also send me mail to my office address: 201 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.