Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

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


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

For assistance in the in the St. Cloud area, students may contact Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid at 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.



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 started with a crash, Gov. Dayton and the DFL trumpeted MNsure’s success compared with’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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There’s an old saying that what goes around comes around. That’s especially true for career politicians who adapt to different political climates by changing their positions on important issues. Grassroots activists and the media notice when you go from a moderate Republican who won’t repeal ObamaCare to a candidate who wraps herself in the Gadsden Flag while calling for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Julianne Ortman, I’m looking at you.

Specifically, MinnPost noticed the difference between Sen. Ortman and Julianne Ortman, TEA Party activist wannabe:

I’m not a full repeal person,” she told the Star Tribune in a September 2013 interview. In Tuesday’s debate, she joined her fellow candidates in calling for an end to Obamacare, with no exceptions.

It isn’t difficult to see the fact that Ms. Ortman isn’t a principled politician. Last summer, Ortman was proud to tell Tom Hauser that she wasn’t a full repeal person. She told him that the bill had been passed, that President Obama had signed the bill and that the Supreme Court had upheld the bill. Then she said the bill needed to be changed without saying what changes needed to be made.

The difference between Ms. Ortman and Mike McFadden is that she’s attempting to sound like she has a solution, whereas Mike McFadden stands proudly behind his solution:

Before we can make the kind of changes Americans deserve, we need to repeal the “Unaffordable Care Act” and replace it with a patient-centered, market-based solution that will lower costs and increase accessibility for all Americans. Minnesota has some of the best health care minds in the entire world. Instead of looking to bureaucrats in Washington, we can take charge and develop homegrown solutions for health care. By restoring power to the states, we can free Minnesota to become a laboratory for innovation and a standard-bearer for health care solutions that work.

Ms. Ortman didn’t change positions until after I’d exposed her as sounding like Al Franken. Quicker than you can say chameleon, Ms. Ortman changed her position. When blogger John Gilmore insisted that Ms. Ortman was a champion of full repeal of Obamacare, I reminded people that she’d consistently opposed full repeal with this quote:

“I’m not a full repeal person. I think the House of Representatives has voted 40 times to repeal it. The Senate is not going to repeal it. So if plan A is ‘Let’s do a repeal,’ we better start talking about Plan B. Because plan A got nowhere,” she said. Ortman said she would like to see Congress go “piece-by-piece through that new law and figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

Actually, Plan A got somewhere. As a result of the pressure that House Republicans put on the Senate and the White House, President Obama has unilaterally and unconstitutionally changed the Affordable Care Act almost 40 times. Now Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s former press secretary, is telling the world that the Employer Mandate likely will never be implemented:

Julianne Ortman doesn’t take principled stands on the most important issues of the day. She’s shown that while being a state senator. Why think she won’t be more unprincipled if we send her to Washington, DC?

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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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Last night, John Gilmore made a feeble attempt to defend Sen. Ortman’s indefensible position of not favoring full repeal of Obamacare. Here’s the text of Gilmore’s tweet:

Julianne Ortman very strong on full repeal of Obamacare. Gary Gross hardest hit.

If Mr. Gilmore wants to destroy his credility, that’s his right. It isn’t his right, though, to make things up. When I wrote this post, I included this direct quote from Sen. Ortman:

“I’m not a full repeal person. I think the House of Representatives has voted 40 times to repeal it. The Senate is not going to repeal it. So if plan A is ‘Let’s do a repeal,’ we better start talking about Plan B. Because plan A got nowhere,” she said. Ortman said she would like to see Congress go “piece-by-piece through that new law and figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

If Gilmore insists that that’s what being “very strong on full repeal of Obamacare” sounds like, it’s his right to make a fool of himself. I’ll just continue providing verifiable proof that Sen. Ortman isn’t “strong on the full repeal of Obamacare.” For instance, I’ll include videos like this:

Sen. Ortman can tapdance on this issue from now until the State Convention but it won’t change the fact that she’s doing a fine impersonation of John Kerry. Remember Kerry’s “I actually voted for it before I voted against it” moment? Here’s a refresher on that infamous moment:

Apparently, Sen. Ortman is for full repeal of Obamacare now that she paid a political price for opposing full repeal of Obamacare.

Mr. Gilmore can take cheapshots at me if he likes. My skin is thick enough to withstand his petty little shots. If Gilmore wants to argue against that video, that’s fine. It’s just that he’s fighting against verified truth. That isn’t the way to increase one’s credibility.

At the end of the day, State Convention delegates need to decide whether they’re comfortable endorsing someone who shifts positions on the biggest issues of the campaign, who proposed raising taxes and voted for a cap and trade system. If they’re looking to endorse a candidate who won’t fight for replacing the worst bill in U.S. history, then Sen. Ortman is a perfect fit for them.

If they’re looking for a principled conservative with lots of private sector experience, then Mike McFadden is their only choice.

Sen. Ortman is a flawed candidate. There isn’t any doubt that Sen. Franken will use Ms. Ortman’s statements about Obamacare against her in his ad campaigns and in their debates. Likewise, there’s no question that Sen. Franken will use Sen. Ortman’s flip-flops against her in his ads and in the debates.

That’s just the harsh reality of politics. At the end of the day, Republicans can’t support a candidate who’s vulnerable to attacks of flip-flopping and who can’t raise the money it’ll take to defeat a well-funded incumbent.

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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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I wrote this post to highlight with statistics just how badly MNsure, aka Obamacare in Minnesota, is failing. Here are some of the things I highlighted in that post:

For individuals, MNsure has an open enrollment goal of 69,904 but so far only has 35,610. For small businesses, MNsure wants 8,925 people signed up by March 31 but right now only has 790 people enrolled.

These aren’t my statistics. They’re statistics included in KSTP’s article on MNsure. KSTP got their numbers from MNsure itself. It’s worth noting that the 69,904 figure is trimmed way down from the legislature’s initial projection, which I wrote about in this article:

According to [the fistcal note for HF5], their low-end enrollment in QHPs was supposed to hit 164,000, their mid-range enrollment in QHPs was supposed to hit 217,000 and their high-end enrollment in QHPs was supposed to hit 270,000.

Based on those projections, MNsure is only 13% of the way to hitting the high-end projection, 16.4% of the way to hitting the mid-range projection and only 21.7% of the way to hitting the lowest projection.

This graphic from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition ties the tale together nicely:

A few minutes ago, the Strib published this article with this headline:

MNsure call center bogs down as midnight deadline looms for enrolling in health coverage

Here’s the text of the article:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The call center for Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace is reaching capacity and some callers aren’t getting through to agents as the midnight open enrollment deadline approaches.

MNsure officials say the call center logged more than 9,600 calls by noon Monday. MNsure says that’s putting a strain on the phone system. The average wait time as of about 1 p.m. was 18 minutes, and the time on hold is expected to increase throughout the day.

Exchange officials say people who can’t get through or have difficulty enrolling online should fill out an enrollment attempt form on MNsure’s home page. MNsure will contact them later to complete the enrollment process.

Those who miss the deadline but make a good-faith effort to enroll will get more time and escape a financial penalty.

There’s one inescapable truth to these statistics. People have stayed away from the policies offered through MNsure because the policies suck. If MNsure was selling appealing policies from the start, we would’ve read stories months ago that complained about how MNsure didn’t have enough servers to handle the volume of people signing up in huge numbers.

Those articles didn’t happen because people found out that the policies offered through MNsure were expensive, had high deductibles or were totally unaffordable.

That’s what failure looks like.

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It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:

A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)

Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.

Is a politician who won’t repeal Obamacare, who’s proposed raising taxes and who’s voted for Cap and Trade “a conservative champion” just because Sarah Palin says so?

By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.

The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.

The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.

That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.

This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.

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