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Leitz to Congress: MNsure ‘stable, secure and successful’

MinnPost file photo by James Nord
MNSure interim CEO Scott Leitz will testify before two subcommittees of the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Thursday.

WASHINGTON — Interim MNsure CEO Scott Leitz will tell a U.S. House oversight committee on Thursday that Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is “stable, secure and successful” and working better today than when he took over in December. 

Leitz, summoned to testify before the House Oversight Committee with a handful of other state exchange directors, will highlight the 169,005 Minnesotans who signed up for health care plans under the Affordable Care Act through MNsure, according to testimony posted by the committee Wednesday [PDF]. He will acknowledge MNsure’s early technical problems, but say there have been improvements since former executive director April Todd-Malmlov resigned in December, including executing an outside review of the exchange, improving website software and beefing up call center staffing.

“The ACA is more than a website,” he will say. “It’s about getting real people and families in to affordable, comprehensive health coverage. This is something we are doing well in Minnesota.”

Leitz and exchange officials from Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, California and Massachusetts are slated to testify before two Oversight subcommittees on Thursday. According to the committee, “the hearing will examine the failures of the state exchanges and the implications for taxpayers and consumers, as well an example of a state that has been able to navigate its exchange launch better.”

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/02/2014 - 01:56 pm.

    144,000 lost their coverage in Minnesota, and they’ve signed up 169,000; the majority to Medicaid and other subsidized plans. MNSure is already readying the taxpayers for a $5 million deficit..

    …but it’s stable and successful.

    If this disaster wasn’t sure to cause much suffering in the next two years, I’d laugh.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/02/2014 - 04:17 pm.

      Citations

      Got any citations for that 144,000 number?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/02/2014 - 05:59 pm.

        Citations

        Got any citations for that 169,000 number?

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/04/2014 - 10:42 am.

          Yes

          That 169,000 number is listed in the article. Swifty’s 144,000 number wasn’t.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 04/04/2014 - 10:44 am.

          From Letiz’s testimony:

          Of that 169,005:
          -87,986 have enrolled in Medicaid under the expanded provisions of the
          Affordable Care Act

          – 34,219 have enrolled in MinnesotaCare, our state’s basic health care plan for people between 133 and 200 percent of the federal poverty line. In other states, these enrollees would be in private plans with tax credits.

          -The remaining 46,800 have enrolled in private Qualified Health Plans.

    • Submitted by Lance Groth on 04/02/2014 - 06:10 pm.

      Where was the concern before?

      Hey, look who’s back!

      Funny, though, that the right had no concern about the millions who were without coverage – often because the insurers dumped them for having the temerity to become ill – before the ACA. Or after, it seems, since all they talk about is repeal. Are “millions” too big a number to connect with?

      Of course, those who “lost” their coverage lost plans that don’t qualify under the ACA, mainly because they were under the old model of ensuring profits for the insurers by screwing the insured; by, for example, not covering hospitalization. Any hospitalization. Some plan. These laughable “insurance” plans are replaced with plans that offer actual coverage, which, after all, is rather the point. So, if substituting one plan for another, substandard plan means that you “lost” the old plan, well yeah, I guess so. But no one needs go without coverage.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/03/2014 - 08:55 am.

        That’s a pretty compelling argument, Lance, except for the part where Minnesota (and every other state)has regulated what insurance policies must offer since NAIC was founded in 1871…oh, you didn’t make that observation, did you? Well there we are.

        If there were policies being sold that didn’t cover hospitalization (and I’m unable to find evidence of that) it was done with the blessing of every legislature since the early 70’s, to say nothing of the individual choice customers made. Thank G__ Obamacare stepped in to take control from those feckless miscreants, right?

        What I did find plenty of evidence of, though, was policies (like mine) that were cancelled because they didn’t cover birth control. Thankfully the company I work for has remedied that onerous deficiency and my birth control pills are now covered.

        At long last I’ve got “actual” coverage.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 04/03/2014 - 01:35 pm.

      MnSure

      Most of the people who “lost” coverage due to the ACA by having noncomforming plans simply got conforming plans through the same providers. The argument that its 169K in and 144K (with bigger national numbers) is simply not true.

      And while there has been an increase in people on Medicaid, you were still paying for those people when they were uninsured.

  2. Submitted by Douglas Shambo II on 04/03/2014 - 09:36 am.

    He’ll be lucky to get a word in…

    Given the bloodthirsty-ness of the Republicans chairing the oversight committees, their tendency toward foregone conclusions, and their general desire to hang the President for any and everything, Mr. Leitz will be lucky to get beyond “good morning.” At best, they run a “kangaroo court.” At worst, they subvert the whole process.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 04/03/2014 - 02:35 pm.

    “The argument that its 169K in and 144K (with bigger national numbers) is simply not true.”

    You may have a point, but we can’t be sure because the White House (and MNSure) refuses to divulge such demographic information, which, oddly enough, is at the core of what congress is expecting Leitz to explain; big $ was pumped in, where’s the beef?

    Given the happy dance Democrats are doing today, the reticence and secrecy surrounding basic data is particularly telling. Does anyone believe, for a minute, that if the demographics were even somewhat salutary to Obamacare supporters they wouldn’t be headline news in every mainstream publication in the country?

    I’ve read that people who’s job it is to worry about such things have concluded that Obamacare needs at least 28% young, healthy subscribers to be sustainable. I’ve also read estimates that suggest they haven’t signed up half that amount.

    I’ve also read that as a result of all of the above, Obamacare (MNSure) premiums are predicted to hit double digits next year…and that doesn’t factor in the inevitable tax increases that will be needed to keep this leaky tub afloat. Remember; MNSure is already (at least) $5 million in the hole, and it’s not even a year old yet.

    Remember when we were all promised a $2500.00 savings?…ahhh, good times; good times.

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