Minnesota DFLers, when confronted with Minnesota having one of the best health care systems in America, were stymied.
The President of their party had successfully gotten one-party adoption of his signature health care plan, ObamaCare, shoved through Congress without a single Republican vote, signed it into law and was rapidly creating a vast government infrastructure to implement it.
Fearing that they would be left behind in this massive expansion of government, they followed their Minnesota leader, Governor Mark Dayton, and shoved through their own JV version of ObamaCare, called MNsure.
Like its bigger teammate in Washington, D.C., MNsure had not a single Republican vote. It added more people to the insurance rolls without addressing the core problems facing the long-term health care needs of its citizens. It added more cost to taxpayers without creating a sustainable financial platform. Those who launched it steadfastly refused to fix it last year, instead pointing to small accomplishments along the way.
Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor, James Nobles, tore the cover off of MNsure’s development, creation and launch this week.
According to the Star Tribune, ““We think MNsure performed poorly,” Nobles said during a House committee meeting Tuesday.”
And, Joel Alter, evaluation manager for the auditor’s office, was quoted by the paper as saying,: “MNsure overpromised and it underperformed.”
From the withholding of information from staff about the problems of MNsure, to misleading Minnesotans about its success, the conclusion of the report is that MNsure’s failures vastly outweighed any of its achievements during its start-up and launch.
The Legislature Auditor faults legislators for failing to effectively create a platform to successfully launch MNsure – ahem, those legislators were all DFLers.
It also points out that many of the problems might have been avoided had the leaders of MNsure bothered to reach out to technology experts right outside their door at state agencies.
But DFLers want to focus on the future of MNsure and trumpet success stories that they claim could not have happened without the expansive, multi-million debacle they funded with taxpayer dollars.
Of course they do. Given the intra-party playground spat between Governor Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Bakk effectively shutting down the Legislature, they know none of this is working in their favor.
The problem with MNsure is the problem with the DFL Legislature and its DFL Governor: They believe that government is too big to fail.
Doubling down, they believe there is no such thing as too big of government.
Truth be told, nobody ever thought our health care system was perfect.
Republicans in Congress – as well as the Minnesota Legislature – were all too willing and eager to address the issues of the uninsured. DFLers failed to consider any Republican ideas on health care reform and as a result the bill passed without a single Republican vote.
Worse yet, the Governor and legislative leaders were fully aware the stage was set for problems – and when problems surfaced they refused to consider any attempt at reform even though thousands of Minnesotans were struggling with its archaic structure.
Like Obamacare, MNsure will fail on the face of its promise: To provide people with affordable, accessible health care coverage.
While more people are insured today than before, who will pay for their insurance and what its cost will be, is something that will haunt taxpayers now and in the future.
The collapse of the MNsure marketplace with the defection of the plans largest insurer was just the first card to fall in a house of very flimsy cards.
As the pool of available providers being able to financially sustain the structure of MNsure becomes smaller, the need for taxpayers to subsidize their exit will become larger.
The costs of premiums will be increased – the number of plan options will decrease – and Minnesota DFLers will see the odds of their continued control of government fall, as well.
Which is why the spat between the two leaders of the state’s government that were the primary architects of MNsure is only going to get worse before it gets better.
Governor Dayton’s days as a political leader ended the moment his re-election was sealed.
In its place is an unrestrained advocate for spending and taxing as much, as quickly, as possible that even eager tax and spending liberals like the DFL Senate Majority are recognizing the peril on their political future.
MNsure – a $90 million taxpayer financed building for politicians – the largest tax and spending increase in Minnesota history – brought down the DFL Majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Across the capitol lawn their DFL brothers and sisters are sitting in the political house of cards they helped construct and recognize that they built it.
When it falls, they better than anyone else, will know why it did.