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Minnesota's Department of Incompetence

Jay Kolls' article highlights the Department of Human Services' incompetence:

The Minnesota Department of Human Services sent 3,000 letters to homes of MinnesotaCare recipients who may have received incorrect monthly billing statements after they applied for health coverage through MNsure, the state's new health care exchange.

The letter tells those recipients the bills may have been wrong for several months, but they encouraged those clients to keep paying the bills anyway.

That DHS would tell these 3,000 families to continue paying their bills even though their premiums aren't right is a bit frightening. What's ironic and infuriating is that Dayton's Department of Human Services immediately told these families to keep paying their premiums but they've been lax in sending out notification to people applying for MinnesotaCare that they need more information to approve their applications.

That shows that they're interested in the money but aren't that interested in helping people get insured. That's a terrible signal to send.

State Sen. Michelle Benson is outraged:

"If a private company told its clients to keep paying monthly health insurance premiums even if they might be incorrect, the Minnesota Department of Commerce would come in and clean house," Benson said.

First, this likely wouldn't happen if a company were handling this. If a private company did do this, though, they'd get a visit from Minnesota's Department of Commerce. There's a strong possibility that Lori Swanson, Minnesota's Attorney General, would start an investigation into the company, too.

Second, it's frightening that this is still happening a year after MNsure's disastrous launch. Minnesotans have the right to ask when the Dayton administration will get MNsure working. In fact, they have the right to ask if the Dayton administration will straighten things out.

MNsure representatives did not want to do an on-camera interview with us because DHS handles all of its billing practices.

DHS officials also declined to comment on-camera but issued a statement that says, in part, "We are working with our IT staff and MNsure vendors to correct these issues, and MinnesotaCare coverage for those households remains in place."

It isn't surprising that the Dayton administration doesn't want to comment on this problem. The last thing they want to do is subject themselves to subject themselves to tough questions. The Dayton administration's frequent displays of incompetence keep piling up. They'd rather hide than answer the tough questions that would certainly face them if they answered KSTP's questions.

In mid-November, Minnesotans will be subjected to another round of the Department of Human Services' incompetence. The lingering question is when Minnesotans will just say they're tired of this incompetence. That tipping point might be getting close.

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