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Legislative Update (Jan. 15, 2014)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dear neighbor,

Over the past several months, we’ve seen a litany of problems coming out of MNsure – the state agency charged with implementing Obamacare in Minnesota. Whether it was releasing the Social Security numbers of over a thousand Minnesotans, a multitude of policy cancellations, or rising costs, MNsure has surely not lived up to its promises.

Even Governor Dayton recently admitted that MNsure fell “far short of the mark” and that Minnesotans have been “terribly inconvenienced” because of MNsure. 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 of when officials with authority over MNsure knew about the problems but remained quiet.

Already, the information we’re receiving directly from MNsure is concerning. 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 will hear Democrat legislators claim that because of MNsure, Minnesota has the lowest health insurance premiums in the nation. However, what is left unsaid is that MNsure’s own economists predicted that Minnesotans’ insurance premiums will rise on average by up to 30%. Proponents of MNsure also 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. The bottom line is 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 poorly conceived government-organized healthcare bureaucracy.

I want everyone to have access to quality affordable healthcare and certainly support programs that help low-income, disabled, vulnerable, and elderly citizens afford healthcare coverage. 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 ended up being a mistake that most Minnesotans simply can’t afford.

Although we are currently not in session, I can still be reached via email at rep.steve.green@house.mn. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-9918. Mail can be sent to Rep. Steve Green, 231 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Steve

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