The forever-indispensable Harold Hamilton, aka Minnesota Watchdog, provided a ‘history lesson’ of sorts on HHS’s failings in his most recent commentary. In his commentary, Hamilton noted the following:

  1. October 2013: MNsure (Obamacare) web site launch failure. Ultimately, the web site would cost $190 million to get up and running.
  2. January 2016: A failure to properly determine eligibility for various programs results in at least $271 million in improper benefits being paid.
  3. July 2017: $7.7 million in fraudulent Medicaid payments discovered.
  4. April 2018: DHS writes off over $30 million in Minnesota Care premiums because of software problems.
  5. May 2018: The OLA reports significant problems with oversight of the DHS Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP). OLA noted, “DHS did not implement sufficient program integrity controls for licensing childcare providers and lacked some key controls to identify errors and to inhibit, track, and recover improper payments.”
  6. July 2018: Data breach at DHS exposes the personal data of 21,000 citizens.
  7. September 2018: Data breach at DHS exposes the personal data of 3,000 citizens.
  8. April 2019: Data breach at DHS exposes the personal data of 11,000 citizens.
  9. June 2019: Medical director at DHS demands more agency accountability measures – gets fired.
  10. July 2019: After placing the DHS Inspector General on investigatory leave, it’s revealed that the investigation has yet to even begin.
  11. July 2019: Top deputies resign.
  12. July 2019: DHS commissioner resigns after only months on the job.
  13. August 2019: DHS overpays two Indian tribes over $25 million, OLA starts investigation.

Think about all those crises. Then think about who was the person in charge of either the oversight of HHS or in charge of running HHS itself. The man’s name is Tony Lourey. First, he co-wrote the bill that created MNsure. Then he ignored the warning signs that the website wouldn’t run properly when it went live. Then he ignored Michelle Benson’s criticisms that MNsure needed legitimate oversight.

Meanwhile, the Dayton administration kept ignoring data breaches, most likely because they didn’t have the expertise required to fix these problems. In light of the Democrats’ failings, why should we have faith that the Department will suddenly get run smoothly? The truth is that the Party of Big Government, aka the DFL, aka Democrats, have a lengthy history of failing Minnesota’s taxpayers in terms of running government properly.

To be blunt, Tim Walz and Mark Dayton have failed the people. The people shouldn’t have trusted them whatsoever. Let’s forget their public personas. Let’s focus on their ineptitude instead. Let’s look at their handling of budget negotiations, too.

Dayton either shut down the government or he required a special session in 3 of his 4 budget sessions. In one of his budget sessions, he negotiated an entire week with Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. They couldn’t reach a deal. The final Friday of the session, they sat down and put together a bipartisan budget deal in less than an hour. Then Dayton rejected it, taking the legislature into special session.

This year, Gov. Tim Walz insisted on a $12,000,000,000 tax increase over 4 years despite the fact that his own MMB director said that the state had a massive balance in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and that we were projected to run a surplus in excess of $1,000,000,000. Gov. Walz and the DFL House still insisted on the tax increase after it was announced that revenues were coming in faster than projected. Paul Gazelka ended the argument with this great chart:

Let’s be blunt about this. The DFL has caused one budget disaster after another. Even when money is pouring in, the DFL has insisted on taking a higher percentage of your paycheck. Once the GOP has forced some sensibility into the budgeting process and the budget is signed into law, Gov. Walz and the DFL insist on running 1 fraud-riddled program after another.

To top this off, the DFL specializes in thwarting transparency. Gov. Walz even picked an anti-transparency expert to run the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services, the most anti-transparency and fraud-riddled department in the state.

What part of this suggests competence? What part of this suggests that the DFL approves of transparency? Here’s a hint: none of this suggests that the DFL is competent. None of this information suggests that the DFL approves of transparency.

One Response to “HHS history lesson”

  • Chad Q says:

    And yet the DFL continues to win statewide offices by huge margins no matter how much money is pissed away. I guess the voters really don’t care what happens to their tax money because if they did, things would change.

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