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MNsure's impending disaster

Scott Leitz testifies.
Scott Leitz testifies.

These statistics have D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R written all over them:

Estimates are that 40 percent of enrollees need to be in that demographic to provide baseline ACA funding. As of Wednesday, only about 20,400 (16 percent) were ages 26-34, well short of the ideal goal of 54,000.

If the percentage of young healthies doesn't improve dramatically, Minnesotans' health insurance premiums will skyrocket this fall. At this point, MNsure looks like a looming disaster.

It looks like a disaster from a policy standpoint. It's been a disaster from a PR standpoint. MNsure's history is riddled with PR nightmares, starting with this one. Here's what veteran WCCO reporter Pat Kessler said about MNsure's mismanagement:

KESSLER: Suddenly — and it was very odd to me — suddenly around December first, second, third, right around that time right after Thanksgiving, we suddenly at WCCO, were flooded, inundated with literally hundreds of people calling, saying “I can’t get on. This is crazy.” And I’ll just say it, I think they lied to us. I think they misled us. I think they misdirected, they camoflaged. They said “No there’s no problems, when, in fact, behind the scenes, they were sweating bullets because they couldn’t fix the problems. I think that this is one of the most closed, obtuse, misdirecting, camoflaging agencies I have ever dealt with.

Now, MNsure is falling far short of the figures they need for financial sustainability. If young healthies don't sign up in dramatic percentages in the next week, families will find out that they'll be on the hook for significantly higher health insurance premiums a month before next November's election.

That highlights the third potential disaster that the Dayton administration will have to deal with. If families see that they're getting hit with skyrocketing premiums right before the election, it's inconceivable that they'll pull the lever for the politician who gave them those higher premiums.

Since Republicans didn't vote for MNsure, that leaves only Gov. Dayton and the DFL to shoulder the blame for this looming disaster.

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