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According to this email from Corie Beckerman, the director of Student Health Services at St. Cloud State, MnSCU has decided to drop its “domestic student health insurance plan for the 2014-2015 academic year”:

To all SCSU Faculty and Staff:

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) has decided to no longer offer a domestic student health insurance plan for the 2014-2015 academic year. Due to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act that went into effect January 1, 2014, the cost of insurance for domestic students by our current provider would have increased substantially. There are several insurance coverage options available to students, which include being covered on their parent’s policy until age 26 or purchasing coverage through the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange (MNsure). A detailed explanation of this MnSCU decision can be found at www.stcloudstate.edu/healthservices.

Resources:

MNsure has numerous resources available on their website for students to help navigate their system as well as address any health insurance questions – www.mnsure.org or toll-free 1-855-366-7873.

For assistance in the in the St. Cloud area, students may contact Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid at projectcare@mylegalaid.org or 1-320-253-0121.

International students will continue to be required to purchase health insurance through the MnSCU sponsored health plan, as in the past, in accordance with MnSCU Board Policy 3.4.1 part 3, subpart B.2.

Thanks

Corie

Corie Beckermann, Director
Student Health Services
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

This sentence jumps off the page in importance:

Due to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act that went into effect January 1, 2014, the cost of insurance for domestic students by our current provider would have increased substantially.

This is a stunning admission that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, isn’t affordable. MnSCU is filled with people who support President Obama and Obamacare. This isn’t a decision they made lightly. It’s instructive that MnSCU didn’t make this decision out of spite.

MnSCU made this decision because the ACA, aka Obamacare, is exceptionally expensive.

Last week, President Obama had his “Mission Accomplished” moment in the Rose Garden. The thing he highlighted most was the enrollment numbers. That moment will be fleeting. Most people have forgotten about the enrollment figures. Since that event, the administration has gotten hit with stories like MnSCU cancelling its health insurance program for domestic students and other horror stories.

Kathleen Sebelius must feel like the weight of the world’s been lifted from her shoulders now that she’s resigned. She won’t have to deal with the ACA mess once her replacement is confirmed.

That’s the opposite of Gov. Dayton. This is just another reminder that the ACA is anything but affordable.

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Jeffrey Meitrodt’s article shows how anxious Gov. Dayton and the DFL is to put their mismanagement and inattentiveness behind them:

DFL Rep. Joe Atkins, co-chairman of the oversight committee, said he “prefers to look forward” and not rehash the decisions that brought MNsure to where it is today. He praised the agency for signing up 181,000 customers since Oct. 1, well above its conservative goal of 135,000.

Whether Rep. Atkins prefers looking forward or not, I won’t until I highlight the terrible decisionmaking made by Gov. Dayton and April Todd-Malmlov. I won’t look forward until it’s exposed how disinterested the DFL-dominated MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee was about the systemic mismanagement problems Republicans were highlighting.

I wrote here that Sen. Lourey admitted that the Republicans were asking legitimate questions:

State Sen. Tony Lourey, the DFL co-chair of the oversight panel, said Republicans have “legitimate questions” that deserve to be answered.

It won’t be long before Sen. Lourey gets a call from Gov. Dayton’s enforcer. They can’t afford for him not to be on the same page with Gov. Dayton and Rep. Atkins.

Republican committee members, however, were frustrated with their inability to question administration officials about MNsure’s rollout. Dayton blocked key officials, including Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, from appearing Wednesday before the panel.

“We can’t improve things if we can’t work together,” Benson said.

Republican members of the panel said they welcomed tough media coverage of MNsure, citing the Star Tribune’s report that revealed Dayton was informed of major problems with MNsure’s website 12 days before the exchange launched. Dayton acknowledged this week that he “misspoke” when he previously said he was unaware of technical problems until November.

Sen. Benson said that she doesn’t think Gov. Dayton lied about his being unaware of MNsure’s difficulties. I disagree. Gov. Dayton didn’t misspeak. He lied about not getting briefed on MNsure’s impending disastrous rollout. Meitrodt’s article provided proof that Gov. Dayton was briefed by April Todd-Malmlov 12 days before MNsure went live.

The only way Gov. Dayton didn’t know about Todd-Malmlov’s brieifing is if he’s got Alzheimers. Since there isn’t any proof of that, it’s safe to say Gov. Dayton lied about MNsure for political/re-election campaign purposes.

Tuesday, Gov. Dayton made a major political mistake. He told legislators of both parties that the architects of MNsure couldn’t testify at an oversight hearing. Then he said that the Republicans’ strategy was a farce. Then Sen. Lourey, one of the co-chairs of the oversight committee, said that Republicans had legitimate questions that should be answered.

Thanks to his foolish tactics, Gov. Dayton’s flailing to regain his political footing. He’s acted like a monarch ruling from his throne. Until this week, Gov. Dayton had a likeability factor. Thanks to his imperious actions, he isn’t as likeable.

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After watching this video, it’s apparent that Gov. Dayton is attempting to hide something from Minnesotans:

This article has more than a whiff of desparation to it.

Gov. Mark Dayton vowed Tuesday not to cooperate with a legislative panel that wants to question top officials in his administration about technical problems that marred the Oct. 1 launch of MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange.

If Gov. Dayton doesn’t change his attitude ASAP, this will hurt him. Here’s why:

Legislative Auditor James Nobles, who is conducting a review of MNsure, said Todd-Malmlov has so far declined to discuss her stewardship of the agency. Nobles said he will take the unusual step of issuing a subpoena and using the courts to compel her testimony if she does not come in voluntarily for an interview.

“We think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered in a thorough and objective way,” Nobles said. “We want to hear her perspective. … She was at center stage, so to speak, and knows more than probably anybody.”

Mr. Nobles has subpoena power, meaning his questions will get answered. If that means compelling Tina Smith’s and Lucinda Jesson’s testimony, then that’s what he’ll do. Gov. Dayton’s contrived diatribe sounded exceptionally desparate:

During a news conference Tuesday, Dayton said Republicans are “making a mockery of the word oversight” and engaging in a “propaganda campaign” aimed at destroying MNsure.

“It is really irresponsible,” Dayton said. “The fact that they can pretend this is part of the oversight process is just ludicrous. They want to trash MNsure. … They want MNsure to fail.”

Gov. Dayton’s faux outrage isn’t convincing. Gov. Dayton insists that Republicans are “making a mockery” of the oversight process. That won’t last long:

State Sen. Tony Lourey, the DFL co-chair of the oversight panel, said Republicans have “legitimate questions” that deserve to be answered.

“We do need to answer for how the rollout occurred, and we certainly will,” Lourey said. “I am totally open to that.”

This is political trouble for Gov. Dayton. Jim Nobles, the much-respected Legislative Auditor, launched an investigation into MNsure’s disastrous rollout. Sen. Tony Lourey, the DFL co-chair of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee, just said the Republicans’ questions are “legitimate” and that they deserve to be answered.

Most importantly, Gov. Dayton is acting like a monarch, telling the uppity peasants what he will and won’t do. If Gov. Dayton continues acting like royalty who can ignore legitimate questions, he’ll be in for a difficult re-election campaign.

It’s difficult to picture this turning out well for him if he continues acting like this.

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From now through Election Day, Gov. Dayton and the DFL will employ an ostrich strategy. They’ll pretend they didn’t know MNsure would be a disaster ahead of time. This article proves that they knew but chose to pretend everything was fine:

Twelve days before Minnesota unveiled its $100 million health insurance exchange known as MNsure, a grim meeting was held at Gov. Mark Dayton’s residence in St. Paul.

April Todd-Malmlov, who had led the project, delivered a warning to the governor and his top advisers: No one was certain the new website built to help thousands of uninsured Minnesotans get health coverage would actually work.

The number of computer bugs in the system had recently surged from 237 to 270. And one-third of them were so severe that no stopgap fixes were possible.

After HealthCare.gov started with a crash, Gov. Dayton and the DFL trumpeted MNsure’s success compared with HealthCare.gov’s failures. At the time, the Twin Cities media just took their word for it. The Twin Cities media ignored complaints of systemic mismanagement at MNsure from Sen. Michelle Benson:

SEN. MICHELLE BENSON: I think we have a systemic management problem. Not prioritizing, not focusing on the things that are essential to have done on October 1. Data privacy is essential. Having good processes in place is essential. Now they made sure to roll out the Paul Bunyan ads and they made sure they had money for that and they kept that secret until they were ready to launch. But when it comes to the agents’ information, that wasn’t sequestered. It wasn’t treated with delicacy. The training — we found out today that navigator training isn’t moving at speed. Counties aren’t trained. Brokers aren’t trained. Those all should’ve been much higher priorities than the softer skill sets.

Sen. Benson made this statement during an interview given on Sept. 24, 2013. The list of things that weren’t ready is lengthy. These things were brought up that day at the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee hearing earlier in the day. Despite this lengthy list of substantive problems, Sen. Lourey and Rep. Atkins, the co-chairs of the Committee, didn’t hold another meeting of the Committee until January, 2014.

By that time, data security had failed repeatedly. MNsure’s executive director, April Todd-Malmlov had resigned. That’s after she took a 2-week vacation in Costa Rica with her lover. By the time the next hearing was held, thousands of dollars in bonuses had been paid to people who’d totally screwed up the system.

Then there’s this:

“I lament that I didn’t ask the simple question: Do we really have to do all of this by Oct. 1?” said MNsure Board Member Thompson Aderinkomi. “I should have asked.”

That’s stunning. This confirms my suspicion that MNsure Board members weren’t serious about administering the program. They were there because they were told to be there. Gov. Dayton didn’t pick serious people to administer the program. The DFL legislature wasn’t interested in conducting serious oversight hearings.

That’s how disasters happen.

“It was a very complex project and there was never enough time,” Dayton said. “I don’t know of anybody who wasn’t operating with good intentions and trying their utmost to make this as good as possible.”

That’s insulting. I don’t care if people were “operating with good intentions.” I’m just interested in fixing things. Gov. Dayton apparently thinks that it’s ok to screw up as long as people operate “with good intentions.” The thousands of people who received cancellation notices because their policies didn’t meet Obamacare’s standards don’t care if these people operated “with good intentions.” They just wanted a system that worked so they weren’t without health insurance.

Five state agencies were involved in the project, and they weren’t always working together. The contractors also were having trouble coordinating efforts, “putting the project at risk,” according to a December 2012 e-mail from MN-IT Chief Information Officer Tom Baden, who was overseeing the vendors’ work.

“Those items need to be addressed within a week or [Houston], we have a problem,” Baden said in his e-mail, sent to Todd-Malmlov and another state official.

E-mails and internal reports show a lack of coordination among various groups throughout 2013. Program managers openly fretted about not catching major problems quickly enough.

Gov. Dayton should be criticized for not getting the right people working urgently on fixing this crisis. Sen. Lourey and Rep. Atkins should be criticized for not being interested in making sure the building of the website was on schedule. Apparently, they thought their chief responsibility was to be MNsure’s cheerleaders, praising the work being done whether the project was a disaster or not.

In May 2013, the first outside audit was delivered, revealing MNsure was below standard on most of the 135 tasks under review. Only one category earned a passing grade — project cost. At the same time, federal officials found dozens of problems, concluding the state had “underestimated” the scope of the work.

This election season, the DFL will undoubtedly attempt to paint the picture that things couldn’t be better. They should be called out each time they try lying like that. Things aren’t rosy. The website has improved. The product is still terrible.

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Saying that MNsure is an expensive failure is understatement. Here’s another example of how MNsure continues to be an expensive failure:

St. Paul- The Minnesota House of Representatives passed an ObamaCare bailout bill (HF 3172) Thursday by a vote of 70 to 59. In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton and Democrat lawmakers passed a budget that increases all-funds spending by $1,500 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota. This bill spends an additional $323 million in Fiscal Year 2014-15 and increases spending in Fiscal Year 2016-17 by nearly $1 billion. One of the largest expenditures in HF 3172 shifts money from the General Fund to fill a gap in the Health Care Access Fund that has been drained by ObamaCare in Minnesota.

That’s only part of the problem with Obamacare, aka the ACA. MNsure dramatically underperformed, despite the DFL’s attempts to characterize it as a great success. Here’s some statistical proof that it’s a failure:

Projected Enrollment in March 2013: 164,000 to 270,000
Revised Enrollment Goal in October: 69,904
Actual Enrollment: 47,046
Percentage Below March, 2013 Projection: 71% to 83% below projection
Percentage Below October, 2013 Projection: 33 percent below projection

Spending over $1,000,000,000 over the next 3 years on this bailout is immoral. That didn’t matter to the DFL, though. The DFL didn’t hesitate in foolishly spending the taxpayers’ money on this underperforming program. All that mattered to the DFL was that President Obama said that Obamacare is a rousing success. That’s all the DFL needed to hear to squander $1,000,000,000 of the taxpayers’ money.

Kurt Daudt summarized things perfectly:

“After historic increases in wasteful spending last year, Democrats proved once again they can’t stop themselves from wasting more tax dollars. This bill irresponsibly spends more than a billion dollars over the next four years and puts Minnesota at risk for future budget deficits to bailout the failed ObamaCare health law. ObamaCare has hurt Minnesotans with higher cost and fewer choices for health care, and now is hurting Minnesota’s budget,” said House Republican Leader Kurt Daudt (Crown).

Thanks to this foolish spending, Minnesota’s general fund budget spending will reach almost $39,000,000,000 for this biennium. Spending from the previous biennium was an already-too-high $34,000,000,000, an increase of almost $5,000,000,000. That’s a 12.5% increase in spending over the previous budget. Let’s remember that that budget was the biggest budget at the time.

Let’s be realistic. When the DFL was pushing HF5 down our throats, they said that 270,000 people would purchase qualified health plans through the exchange. They missed that figure by 223,000. That 47,000 figure is only 17.5% of 270,000.

Scott Leitz, Gov. Dayton and the DFL’s spinmeisters gleefully told Minnesotans that they’d exceeded their goal of 135,000 enrollments. What the DFL spinmeisters didn’t tell Minnesotans is that the vast majority of those enrollments were in the MinnesotaCare and Medicaid programs.

MNsure, aka Obamacare in Minnesota, is a failure. That’s why the DFL legislature just approved a $1,000,000,000 MNsure bailout for the next 4 years.

Successful programs don’t require $1,000,000,000 bailouts. Tell that to the DFL the next time you hear them brag about how successful MNsure is.

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With MNsure being a disaster, the DFL knows that it can’t keep the House by telling the truth. That’s why they’re resorting to spin like this:

MNsure officials were upbeat and continued to highlight that the exchange had far surpassed its overall forecast of 135,000 enrollments through the marketplace for the past six months.

“It is absolutely a success. We met our goal. The numbers we announce today we anticipate will go up,” Leitz said at a Tuesday press conference. “I am absolutely telling you this is a big step forward.”

Just because MNsure set a goal of 135,000 enrollments doesn’t mean that’s what Democrats promised when they passed HF5:

If you look at pg. 7 of HF5?s fiscal note, you’ll find that the medium projections 217,000 enrollments while the high end projection is for 270,000 enrollments. The lowest projection called for 164,000 enrollments in qualified health plans.

The fiscal note for HF5 called for 270,000 people purchasing qualified health plans, aka QHPs. Comparing that figure with this figure, it’s easy to detect the DFL’s lies:

Of the enrollments MNsure reported, 47,000 purchased private plans.

In other words, MNsure fell short by a mere 225,000 QHPs purchased. That’s being off by 82.5%. That isn’t quite as pathetic of an estimate as Gov. Dayton was off on the e-tab revenues but it’s pathetic nonetheless.

MNsure’s expectations were set by the fiscal note. They aren’t set by MNsure. Letting MNsure set its own goals is like letting a witness determine whether the witness committed perjury. There’s a reason why an impartial judge makes that ruling.

Further, Mr. Leitz isn’t exactly a trustworthy person:

Scott Leitz, the in­ter­im CEO for MNsure, acknowledged Friday that he is facing a charge of drunk­en driv­ing stemming from an arrest in Minneapolis in August.

Leitz, 47, of St. Paul, was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. on Aug. 17 near S. Sixth Street and Portland Avenue S. on suspicion of speeding and careless driving, according to Lt. Eric Roeske, a State Patrol spokesman. Leitz’s breath test indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.18 percent, more than double the legal intoxication limit in Minnesota.

I wish Mr. Leitz the best of luck in dealing with this issue. There’s still room for compassion when a person makes a mistake like this. That said, forgiveness and trust aren’t the same thing. Having more than twice the blood-alcohol level isn’t the type of thing that inspires trust.

Even if the figures are accurate, that doesn’t mean MNsure is a success. Before I’d consider it a success, I’d want to know if the people who got kicked off of policies they liked like their new policy better. Most people were content with their policies so there’s no reason to think they’re happier now. Further, I’d want to know if the people who got kicked off their plans are paying less than they did before. Most aren’t. I’d want to know if the people who got kicked off their previous plans got to keep their doctors and whether they can still go to the same hospitals. I’m betting they can’t.

Finally, I’d insist on finding out whether their networks had shrunk. If their networks had shrunk, how much farther do these families have to travel to get care?

The DFL knows that MNsure is a failure because most people are paying more while getting less. Their deductibles are higher while their rural networks are smaller. That isn’t the definition of success. That’s the definition of failure.

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Friday night, Mike Hatch enlisted himself as Gov. Dayton’s defense attorney. First, here’s a little background on the conversation. The first subject discussed during the Almanac Roundtable was medical marijuana.

When Cathy Wurzer brought up the subject of Gov. Dayton’s alleged statement to a parent to buy marijuana from a street dealer, Brian McClung jumped all over that, saying that it’s disgraceful that Gov. Dayton would tell someone to break the law. Then McClung said that it wasn’t just the mother who is making that accusation, that others attending that impromptu meeting had verified the fact that Gov. Dayton had said that.

That’s when Mr. Hatch came to Gov. Dayton’s defense, saying that “nobody knows what was said. Nobody here was in that meeting.” Then he said that since nobody on the panel was there, they shouldn’t state their opinion on what happened.

First, that’s exceptionally rich coming from someone who made a career as Minnesota’s Attorney General by avoiding trials by trying the cases in the court of public opinion. Hatch’s habit was to hold splashy press conferences where he’d say that another evil corporation had shafted John Q. Public. Most of Hatch’s lawsuits didn’t make it to trial because the defendant settled before trial.

But I digress.

Hatch’s argument is flimsy at best. Crime aren’t committed in front of a room full of upstanding citizens as witnesses. Despite that, juries frequently deliver guilty verdicts without eyewitness testimony to a shooting or robbery.

In this instance, however, there were a bunch of parents/activists who stepped forward and said that they’d heard Gov. Dayton make this statement. If they’re telling the truth, then Gov. Dayton told a distraught mother to commit a crime. This video shows at least 2 women, including Jessica Hauser, making the statement that Gov. Dayton told Ms. Hauser to buy marijuana from a street dealer:

If Mr. Hatch wants to argue that these women aren’t telling the truth, then he’d better bring a lunch because he’s in for a long day. There were at least a half dozen people standing with Ms. Hauser at Ms. Hauser’s press conference. If that’s the case, then Mr. Hatch’s job as Gov. Dayton’s defense attorney is to discredit each of these eyewitnesses’ testimony. I won’t say that’s impossible but I’d say accomplishing that is as likely as me hitting the Powerball jackpot…twice.

If I were Gov. Dayton, I’d either hire a better attorney or I’d throw myself on the mercy of the court because, right now, he doesn’t have a chance of winning this fight.

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It was quite a downer when Zach Dorholt defeated King Banaian, especially from a policy standpoint. We traded a respected economist for a politician with no particular policy skills. Apparently, though, Dorholt is a skilled spinmeister:

Tax Cuts for Minnesotans

The House got an early start this year by passing a repeal bill to end unnecessary warehousing and business-to-business sales taxes during the first week of session. As part-owner and a small business, I worked with members of both parties to make sure that warehousing taxes, telecommunications equipment taxes, and machinery repair sales taxes were repealed this session. I was a co-author of many of these business tax repeal bills in the House.

We also passed federal conformity as part of that tax repeal bill. Conforming Minnesota’s tax code to federal tax law makes tax filing easier for Minnesotans and qualified over 1 million residents of our state for $230 million in increased tax relief. Last Friday, we were finally able to act on the complete amended tax cut package that was sent to us by the Senate. We passed the bill the same day with bipartisan support to cut taxes by $430 million and sent it to Governor Dayton for signing.

Here’s the truth of what happened:

As part-owner and a small business, I worked with members of both parties to make sure that warehousing taxes, telecommunications equipment taxes, and machinery repair sales taxes that I voted for were repealed this session. I was a co-author of many of these business tax repeal bills in the House. I co-authored many of these tax repeal bills because not repealing them would’ve been political suicide. I supported terrible tax increase policies because that’s what loyal Democrats reflexively do.

Seriously, Dorholt voted for the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history last year. Then he saw the political firestorm erupt the minute Gov. Dayton signed the bill that Dorholt and the DFL voted for.

Now Dorholt wants to pretend that those tax increases just appeared out of thin air, that he didn’t have a thing to do with them. Dorholt wants people to think that giving some of the Democrats’ tax increase back should count as a tax cut. That’s the same logic as saying that the burglar who stole a flat screen TV, several brand new iPads and some kitchen appliances last week, then returned the kitchen appliances this week is a man of charity.

Restoring part of the things that the DFL legislature stole last year isn’t the same as cutting taxes. Outside of a Democratic politicians’ world, that’s considered as righting a wrong.

Finally, talking about tax conformity as tax relief is a joke. It isn’t tax relief. I don’t recall the DFL legislature passing tax conformity last year but if they did, they certainly didn’t talk about it as tax relief. When tax conformity was passed in previous sessions, the legislature just treated it like the right thing to do, a ho-hum type of thing.

I’m betting that the reason the DFL is trumpeting tax conformity as tax relief is because the DFL wants some political cover from the charges that a) the DFL passed the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history and b) the DFL’s tax increase hit plenty of middle class families.

The DFL and their allies like ABM and TakeAction Minnesota aren’t tethered to the truth. They’re more closely affiliated with spin that says reducing the size of last year’s tax increase is a tax cut. There’s a simple thing to remember. The next time that the DFL cuts taxes…will be the first time the DFL cuts taxes.

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This statement from MNsure makes it sound like MNsure will meet its goals:

MNsure 96% to Goal with 10 Days Remaining in Open Enrollment
More than 130,000 enrolled, only 5,000 sign-ups remain to meet 135,000 goal

Reading those headlines, you’d think that MNsure was staging a comeback for the ages. It isn’t:

To date, MNsure has enrolled 35,610 in a Qualified Health Plan, 26,297 in MinnesotaCare and 69,570 in Medical Assistance.

If you’re asking where that 135,000 figure comes from, you’re on the right track. If you look at pg. 7 of HF5′s fiscal note, you’ll find that the medium projections 217,000 enrollments while the high end projection is for 270,000 enrollments. The lowest projection called for 164,000 enrollments in qualified health plans.

Compare that with MNsure’s announcement from last Friday. That statement admits that “MNsure has enrolled 35,610 in a Qualified Health Plan.” MNsure just admitted that they’re 21.7% of the way to accomplishing their low-end goal. They’re only 16.4% of the way to the mid-point goal. What’s worst is that they’re only 13.2% of the way to hitting their high-end goal.

Based on what the DFL sold the public when they passed the HIX bill, MNsure is dramatically underperforming. Despite all of MNsure’s happy talk, the reality is that the 135,000 figure is what they adjusted after seeing MNsure repeatedly crash during October and November.

What’s more is that the number of people enrolled in QHPs is only about a third of the people who’ve enrolled in various programs. Here’s the easiest way of thinking about this. Two-thirds of the people signing up via MNsure don’t pay into the system.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, I wrote this article about another way MNsure is failing:

Estimates are that 40 percent of enrollees need to be in that demographic to provide baseline ACA funding. As of Wednesday, only about 20,400 (16 percent) were ages 26-34, well short of the ideal goal of 54,000.

Here’s the easiest way of explaining the importance of this statistic. Yesterday, I called into Ox in the Afternoon to talk with King Banaian about this. King was sitting in for Ox yesterday. King said that he’d recently seen a report that said this adverse selection would trigger a 55% increase in premiums for next year. King said he thought the report was from the CBO but he wasn’t 100% of that.

Simply put, if young healthies don’t enroll in sufficient enough numbers, the insurance companies won’t collect the revenues needed to pay the increased claims from older, less healthy people. That, in turn, will either drive insurance companies out of business or it’ll cause them to dramatically increase premiums.

Everything in the reported data says MNsure isn’t a success. Everything points to it being a failure that people aren’t buying into. Of course, that isn’t something that the DFL will admit but that’s their political problem. When those higher premiums hit next fall, the DFL will have their hands full politically.

Most importantly, more people will be hurt by MNsure/Obamacare than will be helped by it. Spending more than $150,000,000 on something that hurts more people than it helps is depressing.

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Tim Walz knows how to play the DC spin game. This article is proof of that:

At the U.S. Capitol, Walz said, “there’s not democracy.” Instead, “there’s just a speaker who holds a gavel.” The only legislation that can get voted on is that which the House speaker allows.

The reason Tim Walz is in the minority is because the politicians he voted for for Speaker didn’t just hold the House hostage. Then-Speaker Pelosi wouldn’t even let Republicans participate in writing a bill the vast majority of Americans didn’t want. It wasn’t enough for Ms. Pelosi to play the role of tyrant. She wasn’t satisfied until she ruled with an iron fist.

I don’t recall Rep. Walz complaining about Ms. Pelosi’s dictatorial stranglehold on the House from 2007-2011. Perhaps that’s because getting his way was the only principle that mattered to him.

Walz wasn’t the only spinmeister on stage:

With Republicans in charge of the Legislature and a Republican governor, Smith said, Minnesota ended up with a $6 billion debt.Under Democratic control, the deficit was erased, and money has been put aside for future emergencies.

Tina Smith should be ridiculed and criticized for lying like that. There’s never been a time when a Republican governor got to work with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. N-E-V-E-R. In 2010, Republicans gained control of the Minnesota Senate since it became a partisan election in 1972. From 1972 through 2010, Democrats had a stranglehold on the Senate.

That part of Smith’s BS is bad enough but that isn’t the only BS Smith peddled. In 2011, Republicans inherited a $6,000,000,000 deficit from Sen. Pogemiller and Speaker Kelliher. Sen. Pogemiller had a veto-proof DFL majority in the Senate while Speaker Kelliher lead 87 Democrats in the 134-member in the House.

When the DFL regained control of the House and Senate in 2012, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen inherited a $640,000,000 deficit, not a $6,000,000,000 deficit.

That means Smith was only off by $5,360,000,000. In other words, she was as close to being accurate on the deficit as Gov. Dayton was with the e-tabs projection. That means neither was particularly accurate.

If spin was a $100 bill, the DFL could pay off the national debt. If accuracy and honesty was a gold bar, Walz and Smith couldn’t afford a stick of gum.

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