Skip to main content

Dayton calls for review of MNsure; House panel votes to drop it

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday he wants a top-to-bottom review of MNsure, the statewide health care insurance exchange, and would be open to a variety of solutions to make it work better – up to and including scrapping it.

In a letter to legislative leaders Monday, Dayton acknowledged that MNsure's rocky performance the past two years has "created serious problems for many consumers," MPR News reports.

“Although we have seen significant improvements, there are still important unresolved issues," he said.

Those issues were spelled out in a scathing audit of MNsure which was released last month. The report from the state’s legislative auditor said the failures of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange outweighed its achievements, and called for sweeping changes to the way it’s managed.

Through MNsure, consumers and some small businesses can purchase health insurance from private companies or arrange for government health insurance such as Medicaid and MinnesotaCare, usually at lower cost than shopping for coverage on their own.

More than 370,000 people have signed up for insurance through the online system, but many of them endured long waits, technical glitches and confusing advice from customer service representatives.

Gov. Dayton said in his letter that his supplemental budget plan includes $500,000 for a new task force to study MNsure's current operations and recommend improvements.

He said he's open to any and all options, including dropping MNsure altogether and moving to the federal health care exchange.

Dayton would give the task force until the end of the year to complete its work, and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt responded by saying that's too long to wait, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Daudt wants lawmakers to take action in the current session.

House panel votes to scrap MNsure

That's just what one House committee did Monday evening, when it voted in favor of a bill that would eliminate MNsure and have Minnesotans use the federal health care exchange, the Associated Press reports.

The panel voted after hearing emotional testimony from residents on both sides of the issue.

The vote was along party lines, with all committee Republicans in favor and all DFLers opposed.

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, who also proposed eliminating MinnesotaCare, the state-funded health insurance program for the working poor, and instead have those clients buy insurance from private vendors through MNsure.

MPR News reports Dean proposes moving the 95,000 people who are in MinnesotaCare to MNsure, to save about $900 million over two years. That money would then be directed to other programs that are higher priorities for Republicans.

Dean's proposals may get a friendlier reception in the House, which is controlled by Republicans, rather than the Senate which is controlled by DFLers.

Next Up

ambulance

2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

fire, firefighter

Woman dies after becoming trapped in Waseca house fire

Police tried to enter the home but heavy smoke prevented them from getting inside.

ambulance

1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

Related