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Continued: MNsure on verge of enrollment milestone

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 22, 2014 - 10:00 PM

“We can acknowledge victories, but we need to be honest about needed changes,” said Mack, GOP leader of the health and human services policy committee. “We just need this thing to work, and we need it to work well and do what it was supposed to do for Minnesotans.”

In a March 18 letter to Gov. Mark Dayton, Mack and Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, called on the governor to delay the penalty.

MNsure announced Monday that it would allow flexibility to some people who can show a good faith effort that they were trying to buy coverage, but were stymied by technical issues.

In a statement, Dayton said: “I strongly support MNsure’s decision to extend the enrollment period for Minnesotans who have tried to enroll in health care coverage by the March 31st deadline.”

To skeptics, it seems a long-shot that some 1.2 million Minnesotans, or nearly 1 in 5 residents, will buy insurance through the MNsure website when it’s fully operational in 2016.

“The numbers were always inflated … and MNsure never came clean with the public,” said PreferredOne CEO Marcus Merz, whose low-priced health plans have enrolled nearly 6 in 10 people on the exchange. “There was so much happy talk, this thing took on a life of its own. And now they’ll be coming in 1.1 million people short.”

MNsure’s supporters are preaching patience.

“This is not a day-to-day, or week-to-week, or even month-to-month process,” said Gruber, Obama’s health adviser and a key architect of the Massachusett’s exchange.

“This is a three-year process. That’s how long it took us to get fully ramped up in Massachusetts. That’s what the Congressional Budget Office estimated to the full ramp-up of Obamacare.”

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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