It’s been a busy week. Monday included the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee meeting. The meeting was very well attended. The DNR’s legal counsel outlined the origin, history and the options the Bands and the State of Minnesota have with respect to the court order governing treaty management of the lake.
On Wednesday Rep. Greg Davids, Rep. Matt Dean, Rep. Josh Heintzeman and I held MNSure listening sessions at the Aitkin Public Library Conference Center.
The afternoon session included professionals from Aitkin, Crow Wing and Carlton Counties Health & Human Services Departments (HHS), Riverwood Health Center, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Aitkin& Brainerd Workforce Centers and the Lakes & Pines Community Action Agency. We received a very detailed critique a problematic issues impacting those that are involved in delivering public assistance services.
I want to especially thank Jesse Goble at Aitkin County HHS for coordinating this session. She brought together a very professional group that provided excellent insight into a variety of technical and workload issues that must be addressed going forward.
The evening session involved the general public. I want to thank the many citizens that provided their personnel experiences with MNSure. We received some positive and some very concerning information on how MNSure is impacting our citizens.
We were told by individuals qualifying for the health insurance subsidy that things were going OK. We were also told by those just outside the subsidy qualification levels they have seen huge increases in their monthly health insurance premiums and substantial increases in their deductibles.
It is clear that the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) is putting a tremendous financial strain on our middle class. MNSure is the public face of the ACA in Minnesota. We are one of 13 states that operate our own exchange, the other 37 states are exclusively using the federal exchange or doing a hybrid approach.
We have to be honest are what our options are. MNSure is simply the face of the federal ACA. The gut question is this: Do we join the other 37 states that are working directly with the federal exchange, or do we continue to do this on our own? I will do my best to responsibility resolve that question and the many other issues that clearly fall under the state’s jurisdiction.
I’m sending out my weekly update a day earlier than usual, since tomorrow I will be at the DNR roundtable meeting in Minneapolis.