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MNsure’s problems continue to mount


Fri, Feb 7th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Jason Wenisch

Minnesota House of Representatives,Communications Specialist

Last week, Minnesotans got even more bad news about MNsure. While Governor Dayton jets off to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer dime and busies himself with discussions of removing historic Civil War paintings from Minnesota’s Capitol, Minnesotans continue to suffer under the failure of leadership that led to this point.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. Optum Health, the company that provided a free review of MNsure’s myriad problems, said that the new state agency’s “management structure…is nonexistent.”

The problems with MNsure run so deep, Optum proposed scrapping the entire system as one of three options. After spending more than $160 million of taxpayer money, Governor Dayton and Democratic lawmakers may have left Minnesotans with nothing but a broken website. Imagine if that happened where you work.

Hardworking Minnesotans need a fix before federal penalties kick in on April 1, but the Optum report said there’s no chance that MNsure will be fixed by then. That leaves us with two major problems.

First, MNsure is the only place where Minnesotans can get federal premium tax credits to offset the increased costs of premiums as a result of Obamacare and MNsure. These tax credits may be the only way some folks are going to be able to afford the high prices on MNsure.

But, MNsure’s website often tells people they’re eligible for the wrong tax credit or no credit at all, even if your income entitles you to it. In our area, MNsure prices are so expensive that people who don’t get tax credits are left with a choice of leaving a hole in the family budget or being penalized by the IRS. Not great choices.

Second, the expensive prices, frustrating call center, flailing website and complete mismanagement have left MNsure unable to attract customers.

Gov. Dayton’s administration estimated that, for 2014, MNsure’s commercial market enrollment would be as high as 270,000 households.

Unsurprisingly, that was later revised down to a goal of 102,800, with 69,904 of those being enrolled in coverage by March 31.

Today, MNsure’s most optimistic data says that just 27,775 are in the process of enrolling, and payment has been confirmed for only 18,136 of those households. That means, with more than two thirds of .....
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When does illusion become reality?

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

My three year old grand-daughter came up to me, her eyes bright with excitement. “Grandma, let’s pretend!” she suggested. When I visit my grandchildren, it’s like entering a time machine. I found myself transported back 75 years. I lived in ..... 
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One Moment, Please... A family energy challenge

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Over the past number of years, I have noticed that I have turned into my parents. I can’t recall how many times I was asked if I was born in a barn when I was a kid, but the answer was always “no.” But, once I became a parent, I could see why ..... 
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More issues raised as former Kingsland board member speaks out

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Al Williams lives in the Kingsland district, he was on the Wykoff school board during the consolidation with Kingsland and he has also been on the Kingsland school board. Williams coaches youth sports for Kingsland and has for many years. He serve ..... 
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Hold the congratulations for Congress

By Lee Hamilton

Fri, Jan 24th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Now that Congress has its immense, $1.1 trillion bipartisan funding bill in hand, Capitol Hill is breathing easier. They ended the specter of a government shutdown for the moment, and funded the federal budget for most of the year. The media has been ..... 
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I shoulda been a kicker

Fri, Jan 24th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In the wake of this whole Richie Incognito thing, and with the Big Game coming up, my mind is drawn to good old American Football, and what it means to be a football player. You see, we’ll watch those modern-day gladiators march into the chilly air ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Taxpayers deserve full disclosure

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

I recently received a phone call from John McDonald, Superintendent for the Kingsland School District. He was urgently requesting to meet with me regarding some alleged misinformation published in a couple of articles that appeared in the Fillmore C ..... 
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Here are a few thoughts on this and that

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Not long ago Adrian Peterson lost a child. I thought he showed considerable strength through this ordeal. He even played in a football game the same week of his child’s death. That is what I thought. Initially anyway. Until I found out that this ..... 
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A K-12 facility at Kingsland: Is it best for students?

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Jeff Erding The December 30 edition of the Journal contained an extremely well done article by Jackie Horsman. It was based on an interview with Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald. The subject: the proposed move to a one site location as un ..... 
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