MN Sure is a fascinating topic—made all the more so by Governor Dayton’s admission on October 12th, 2016 that “…the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable…”. Stunning. We (Republicans) have agreed with that all along—and KNEW we would come to this point.
One thing I have learned in the course of these debates: DFL politicians REALLY DO NOT want to talk about 2013-14 session—Small wonder. This was a session where the DFL controlled both houses of the legislature and the governorship. They could do ANYTHING they wanted—and did. The list is long, and beyond the scope of this piece, but suffice it to say…taxes were raised, money was spent wastefully, and jarring and controversial social legislation was passed.
The first thing to remember is that Obamacare is NOT about healthcare. It is about healthcare FINANCING. Minnesota’s MN Sure version of Obamacare was one of the very first bills passed in the 2013 session. It is important to note that it passed with a ‘YES’ vote from every Democrat in the legislature—and not a single Republican vote. It was immediately signed into law by governor Dayton.
The essence of the bill was this: “We’re gonna show ‘em!” MN Sure was Minnesota’s adoption of Obamacare, and we jumped in with both feet—and up past our eyeballs. We adopted every provision available—Obamacare to the hilt.
Today, Obamacare and MN Sure are disasters—creating financial hardships for individuals and families FORCED by law to buy ever-more-expensive coverage. They are looking to the legislature for fixes.
Both laws are exclusive creations of Democratic party, with ZERO input from the other side. DFL legislators were armed with good intentions and hubris, but knew nothing about how to actually make it work. EVERY ONE of the problems we are having now was predicted from the beginning.
What to do: First—Flawed as it is, Obamacare is the law of the land. The best we can do will still be bad for Minnesotans. This fact is worth remembering when you cast your vote for US Congress. Tim Walz ALSO voted for this monstrosity.
Second—The MN Legislative Auditor has laid out a good slate of recommended changes–The legislature should get busy on that list—to implement improvements in structure, and accountability and oversight—in an attempt to bring it back into some semblance of control.
Third—In the wake of the US Supreme Court decisions, there is no compelling reason to keep MNSure alive. The US is now down to only 11 states now operating their own exchanges. We should take a hard look a dumping MNSure altogether and sending participating Minnesotans into the federal exchange. All in, we have dumped nearly $1 billion down this knothole. It is time to stop throwing good money after bad.
Finally—It is just possible that Minnesota’s pre-Obamacare multi-layered system was a better solution. How about a truly bi-partisan effort from our best healthcare-financing minds to re-craft something along those lines—grounded in the realities of the marketplace. We can try to capture and re-direct the current federal subsidies, and apply to Washington for waivers to try something different.
Photo: House GOP Leader