Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

Back to profile

Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Here is an update from the Capitol.

MNsure Report Released

Last week, the Legislative Auditor released their nonpartisan report on MNsure finding that the exchange’s failures outweighed its achievements. One of only thirteen states to have its own state run health care exchange, Minnesota needs to make serious reforms to the $189 million MNsure exchange this session to fix the numerous problems found in the OLA report.

Some of the key highlights in the report include:

  • MNsure staff withheld important information from the board and other state leaders about technical problems before the website launched in October 2013
  • MNsure misled Minnesotans, claiming to have met enrollment goals when in fact their targets contained an error with an unreasonably low enrollment estimate
  • Only 28 percent of MNsure enrollees were uninsured immediately before enrolling
  • MNsure did not properly prepare its customer service staff or navigators to help people enroll
  • Many enrollees were not notified whether or not they had completed the process for insurance coverage, nor were they notified if they were eligible for public programs or tax subsidies
  • Low private enrollment in MNsure leaves the program financially unstable

These findings are not surprising to the thousands of Minnesotans left in limbo waiting to figure out if they had insurance in 2013, and it’s unacceptable to run any state program like this. House Republicans have offered solutions to help fix MNsure again this year. House File 5 works to ensure access to affordable coverage by requiring the Commerce Department to seek all necessary federal waivers to give Minnesotans access to tax credits regardless of whether or not they purchase coverage through MNsure. It also brings accountability to MNsure by eliminating unchecked compensation for bloated executive salaries and bonuses, and by putting an end to the numerous exemptions from scrutiny that no other agency but MNsure has.

I am hopeful that the legislature and Governor Dayton can work together in a bipartisan effort this session to adopt many of the Legislative Auditor’s recommendations as well as implement some other commonsense reform initiatives this session. For better or for worse, Minnesota has MNsure, and we must ensure that it works efficiently, effectively and offers people a place to easily sign up for insurance as it was promised to do.

Girls and Boys Club

On Thursday, my bill HF 701 was heard in the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Committee. The bill appropriates $1.5 million for the Minnesota Boys and Girls Club with matching funds from non-state sources.  The grant will allow Boys and Girls Clubs across Minnesota do projects that will help young people cultivate and improve their job and employment skills.  

I am excited about this bill and believe that Boys and Girls Clubs are a great resource for Minnesota’s youth. I am hopeful HF 701 will advance this session because it can make a real difference for kids in our community and statewide. 


As always, I welcome your input on legislation and want to hear more about issues important to you. Please don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting, call my office or send me an email. I am here to serve you!

It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol.