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MNsure website just tip of iceberg

Gov. Dayton's re-election likely hangs on whether Republicans highlight the inferior insurance policies sold through MNsure.
Gov. Dayton's re-election likely hangs on whether Republicans highlight the inferior insurance policies sold through MNsure.Star Tribune

Minnesota Republicans are right to focus on MNsure's data privacy issues but they'll make a mistake if they don't highlight the policies sold through the MNsure health insurance exchange. This article highlights Gov. Dayton's incompetence and MNsure's fallibility:

MNsure was supposed to be a national model for smooth implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which had early and strong backing from ­Dayton. Instead, the program has been hit by high-profile problems and delays.

The state’s crash-prone website routinely was clogged with maddening delays as people made last-ditch attempts to enroll. Upward of 40,000 Minnesotans incorrectly were denied insurance and some customers are still not sure they have coverage. In the latest fit of drama, MNsure’s director was forced to resign after disclosing she took a Costa Rican vacation as problems worsened and the state’s legislative auditor says that scrutiny of the site has become his top priority.

In the past, Minnesota had a reputation of getting health care right. Thanks to the data security issues and April Todd-Malmlov's mismanagement of MNsure, that reputation has disappeared. While those are disturbing issues, they aren't the only issues Republicans should focus on. Republicans should focus on stories like this:

This Minnesota family is a young married couple with three children. Until ObamaCare and Dayton’s MNsure came along they shared the cost of their Blue Cross-Blue Shield family health insurance policy 50/50 with the father’s employer. Thanks to ObamaCare, the cost of that policy sky rocketed and is no longer affordable to the family. After endless hours of working with MNsure, here is what resulted.

Without the parent’s consent, MNsure jammed their three children onto government insurance. The children are now covered by Medicaid at no cost to the family or employer, but 100 percent cost to the taxpayers. The father had to go with a single insurance plan from his employer and purchase a separate new policy for his wife. Because of the confusion and disarray at MNsure, neither he nor his wife currently has health insurance ID cards for the insurance they have already paid for.

Democrats have tried selling the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA, by saying the policies people would now be buying would be significantly better. Based on this family's story, that's provably false. That's a heartwrenching story but that's just the tip of the story. Here's more about this family's plight:

The family and the employer were paying their own way for a good insurance policy that covered all members of the family. Today they are hostage to three different insurance policies. The husband and wife’s deductibles have doubled. The cost of the two adult policies is about equal to the old policy that covered the entire family.

That's verifiable proof that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, isn't selling better policies. It's verifiable proof that they're selling policies that trap families in complicated health insurance situations that are difficult to manage.

Families should be able to keep the health insurance policies they'd chosen, especially if the health insurance policies they had were inexpensive and straightforward.

The key principle to understand from this is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL shouldn't punish families that have a history of doing the right thing. That's what Gov. Dayton and the DFL is doing and it's inexcusable.