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Minnesotans still unsire about MNSure

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It’s been a busy time in St. Paul. The day after Republican lawmakers demanded answers from Gov. Dayton as to how Minnesotans will continue to be covered with health insurance, MNSure’s executive director resigned from her position. It appears it was because she took a vacation to Costa Rica during the critical rollout period of a new website that affects the lives of every Minnesotan.

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While her apparent negligence would certainly make her resignation acceptable, it still doesn’t provide the answers we’re looking for to keep Minnesotans covered with health insurance. Minnesotans expected to continue to have health insurance when Democratic lawmakers voted to implement Obamacare in Minnesota earlier this year.

My colleagues and I in the Senate and House Republican caucuses have repeatedly voiced our concerns to the Democratic creators of this legislation. To quote an article I read recently from columnist Bill Randall of the Washington Times, “Democrats created Obamacare in their own image. They own it absolutely, in a way that no other party has owned such a major piece of legislation before.”

Problems with MNSure have persisted for 77 days. With that said, for the sake of the well-being of Minnesotans, I believe it is critical to help Democrats and Gov. Dayton find a solution to the problems they’ve created.

Partisan bickering at such a critical time will only hurt Minnesotans further. We need to come together to find solutions to the fact that with little time remaining until the deadline to complete enrollment and to make sure Minnesotans receive coverage, Minnesotans are still unsure about MNSure.

Here is where MNSure currently stands:

• The MNSure website cost of more than $150,000,000, and continually crashes.

• MNSure call center wait times are often more than an hour long.

• 1,000 Minnesotans who completed MNSure enrollment were told they need a “do-over.”

• 140,000 Minnesotans were forced off plans they liked by Obamacare mandates.

• MNSure deductibles are the highest in the nation, meaning higher costs for Minnesota families.

• MNSure has yet to issue a single insurance policy card, meaning no one is enrolled yet.

• All of this is a result of adopting Obamacare in Minnesota, a state which was once able to claim a nation-leading health insurance system.

At the end of the day, I stand ready and willing to work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, to find a solution to the problems Minnesotans are facing with MNSure.

(Rep. Paul Gazelka, R-Fairview Township, represents Senate District 9.)

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