Considering the fact that the DFL, especially Rep. Joe Atkins, have been spreading happy talk about MNsure, the last thing the DFL wants to deal with an independent, top-to-bottom audit. Minnesota's Legislative Auditor, Jim Nobles, however, has seen enough:
"Given all of the problems that have occurred, I think everybody deserves a thorough, independent examination of what went wrong," Nobles said Monday. "Why didn't the state identify these problems earlier and ensure that they got corrected?"
Mr. Nobles is being polite by asking why "the state" hadn't identified the multitude of problems with MNsure. It's more accurate to ask why the DFL chairmen of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee haven't held a committee meeting since Sept. 24, 2013. After that hearing, Sen. Michelle Benson identified systemic problems within the culture of MNsure, which are identified in this article:
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.
It's one thing to have data security issues, some of which haven't been fixed. It's another when Paul Bunyan ads have a higher priority than making sure the essentials are working well in advance of the first day that MNsure is running.
It goes beyond that, though. Gov. Dayton, like the rest of the DFL, is pretending that it's someone else's fault:
In a letter last month, the governor blamed the IBM software for everything from a "black hole" where applications were irretrievably lost to inaccurate determinations for whether consumers should get financial assistance from the government for their coverage. The letter was made public Friday.
It's possible that IBM didn't do what it said it would do. That hasn't been determined at this point. What's certain, however, is that the DFL chairs of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee didn't call hearings into what was and wasn't working.
After watching Rep. Atkins' interviews, it isn't a stretch to think that the DFL was only interested in promoting their happy talk chanting points. It's apparent that they weren't interested in finding out if MNsure was ready for primetime.
Gov. Dayton's hissy fit aside, the reality is that the DFL legislature didn't pay attention to the DFL-nominated executive director's work. The only question that hasn't been answered is whether they ignored this crisis because they were incompetent or they wanted to hide the systemic management problems at MNsure.
The good news is that Mr. Nobles' audit will answer some of these important questions.