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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Green (R)

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Legislative Update and Town Hall Schedule (2-20-15)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

On Tuesday, the long awaited Legislative Auditor’s MNSure evaluation report was released. This non-partisan report revealed a more in depth analysis of the problems the Obamacare exchange experienced after launching in 2013. The full report is 181 pages in length and you can read it here.

The report found that MNSure, which cost taxpayers nearly $200 million to build, has many more failures than achievements.

When MNSure was created, Minnesotans were promised a functional website that would be “Travelocity for health insurance”. Instead, MNSure has caused headaches for Minnesota families.

Instead of providing a positive and easy-to-use experience, Minnesotans experienced massive technical problems with the website. The report found that 75 percent of individuals who enrolled in MNSure faced “significant” technical problems. It also found that 58 percent of enrollees spent at least 4 hours on the enrollment process. To make matter worse, when folks would call into MNSure for assistance, over a third of them were simply disconnected.

Furthermore, sign ups were far below projections. Public enrollment far outpaced private enrollments, which the exchange relies upon to fund its operations. Democrats promised the tax on plans sold through the exchange would be 2 or 2.25%. However, these taxes have already been raised to 3.5%. If this is not enough, Governor Dayton has asked the legislature for even more funding to cover MNSure’s shortfalls. It is upsetting to see the governor and Democrats seek to spend more taxpayer dollars on a program that is still falling well below projections two years later.

Also, with only 28 percent of people who purchased insurance through MNSure claiming to have not been previously insured, the Auditor questioned MNSure’s assertion that it had significantly improved the number of uninsured individuals in Minnesota.

The audit's findings, while unsurprising, are still very disappointing. Minnesotans and their hard earned tax dollars deserve better.

Governor's Authority Reined In

Over the last several weeks, there has been numerous media reports detailing the Governor's recent pay raises to political appointees.

On Thursday, the House voted to delay those pay raises and remove the Governor's authority to single handily give raises to members of his cabinet.

These provisions were part of what's called a deficiency bill. This bill provides funds to the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, the DNR, and the Minnesota Zoo to cover budget deficiencies from unplanned expenditures such as the Ebola crisis that took place last year.

Town Halls

I will be hosting a series of town halls throughout the district on March 28th. I encourage all to attend these events and voice their questions, comments, or concerns on issues affecting our area and state. The schedule for the day is below:

9:00 am

Red Apple Cafe

116 N Main St

Mahnomen, MN 56557

10:15 am

City Hall

321 Main ave

Callaway, MN 56521

1:15 pm

Palace Café

111 East Main Avenue

Frazee, MN 56544

2:00 pm

Cottage House

119 Main Street NE

Menahga, MN 56464

3:15 pm

West Forty Restaurant

906 1st W

Park Rapids, MN 56470

5:00 pm

D & R Cafe

27 Central St W

Bagley, MN 56621

As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have a question or comment about a piece of legislation or a state agency. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at rep.steve.green@house.mn.


Have a great weekend,

Steve

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