Daudt threatens ‘to call for Dayton’s resignation’ over insurance hikes

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
House Speaker Kurt Daudt

And you thought the Presidential campaign was childish. Tim Pugmire’s MPR story on the latest Mark Dayton-Kurt Daudt fracas says: “Efforts to help some Minnesotans weather a looming spike in their health insurance costs were stymied again Wednesday by another round of election-year finger-pointing. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said it’s up to legislative leaders to set politics aside and find a short-term fix. But Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt accused the governor of a ‘dereliction of leadership’ on the issue. Daudt … said he was offended by a letter that Dayton sent this week asking House and Senate leaders to come up with a plan soon for helping Minnesotans who will be hit with big premium increases next year for individual market plans. … ‘If I find out that those people aren’t working 24/7 to find a solution to help these people get health insurance, I’m going to call for Dayton’s resignation myself personally.’” Oh, boy. Now he’s got him scared.

For the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger says, “Dayton and Democrats in the Legislature have called for the state to quickly approve millions of dollars worth of subsidies to bring down those costs. Republicans believe the problems require more wholesale changes. ‘We have to deal with the short term and the long term at the same time, and the short term isn’t just putting money at the problem,’ Daudt said.” Let me guess: is it tax relief for job creators?

Tossed. Christopher Magan of the PiPress says, “A lawsuit from four Minnesota parents that claimed the state’s teachers union rules protect bad teachers and perpetuate the state’s achievement gap has been thrown out by a Ramsey County judge. District Judge Margaret Marrinan ruled late Wednesday that the case … did not show Minnesota’s teachers union protections were directly connected to the academic achievement gap or students of color receiving ineffective teachers.”

It’s a principle and courage thing. For MPR Brian Bakst reports, “For all the focus on which Republicans are standing with Donald Trump this year, there’s also hesitance among some Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota and elsewhere about throwing their support to their nominee, Hillary Clinton. U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, the dean of Minnesota’s congressional delegation, won’t commit to Clinton. In a debate Wednesday with Republican challenger David Hughes on MPR News, Peterson said he was ‘conflicted’ about the presidential race.”

Any drop in fatalities is a good thing. WCCO-TV says, “Minnesotans are doing a better job of practicing fire safety. The proof of that comes in the latest numbers from the State Fire Marshal’s office. If [the] current trend continues, Minnesota is on pace to suffer the fewest fire fatalities ever recorded.”

This just in from UtahBrigham Young University says, “Brigham Young University and the University of Minnesota today announced the schools have agreed to a two-game football series in 2020 and 2025. The Cougars and Golden Gophers are scheduled to meet at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sept. 26, 2020, with the second game scheduled for Sept. 20, 2025, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.” Or, you could just drive out and enjoy autumn in the mountains right now.

A CNN “Reality Check,” by Steven Holmes says, “Two weeks ago, another high-profile Democrat seemed to be criticizing the Affordable Care Act. This week, Donald Trump seized on that criticism. ‘The Democratic governor of Minnesota said the … Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable,’ Trump said Tuesday at a rally in Sanford, Florida. Trump is indeed correct. … But while the premium hikes are dramatic and are having political ramifications, as seen by Trump’s remarks, what is the actual impact on people living in Minnesota? The answer is pretty big on a really small group of people. Minnesota has a tradition of its companies providing health insurance for its employees. As a result, only about 250,000 people — about 5 percent of the state population — get their health insurance through the individual market … .” And will until it’s tossed out and replaced by “something really terrific.”

The Palace will continue to rise again, an extra million be damned. Jessie Van Berkel’s Strib story says, “St. Paul officials expect to complete the renovation of Palace Theatre by the end of this year, which marks the 100th anniversary of the building that opened in 1916 to host vaudeville performers. How the city got to this point in the renovation process rankled City Council members Wednesday, when they received an update on project funding. … The road to opening night has been more expensive than anticipated, as the city dealt with deterioration in the long-abandoned building.” Now if it were a stadium, who would blink?

This will be tough. Paul Walsh and Karen Zamora of the Strib say, “Aaron Wildenborg, of Red Wing, Minn., on Tuesday sued St. John’s and the neighboring College of St. Benedict in federal court, alleging that school officials erred in determinations of whether he had consent for sex and whether the woman was vulnerable because she was drunk.”

Two more excluded. The AP says, “A Minnesota judge says a woman and girl who claim to be Prince’s niece and grandniece will not be considered heirs of his estate. Judge Kevin Eide ruled Wednesday that Brianna Nelson and her niece, Victoria Nelson, are excluded as Prince’s heirs as a matter of law. Brianna and Victoria Nelson claim descent from the late Duane Nelson Sr., who they say was a half-brother to Prince. Court documents indicate Prince’s father was not Duane’s biological father.” Their next move: Getting their attorney’s fees back.

Now here’s a guy with A LOT of work to do. Mike Berardino of the PiPress says, “Thad Levine, assistant general manager for the Texas Rangers the past 11 seasons, is expected to join the Twins as general manager, according to the Dallas Morning News. Levine, 44, would rank second to chief baseball officer Derek Falvey in the Twins’ reconfigured baseball operations department.” First question: Would you have signed Ricky Nolasco?  

Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/27/2016 - 07:14 am.

    If I find out that those people aren’t working 24/7 to find a…

    …solution to help these people get health insurance. This must be a joke by Daudt. He and all Republicans have fought for 8 years to do everything they can to negate this law with no regard for the people it helps. And will he do anything now to help? NO!

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/27/2016 - 08:04 am.

      Thanks for pointing this out. Crocodile tears are the least convincing and least attractive kind, especially when they come in the form of Republican concern for “the little guy” who isn’t able to afford health insurance.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/27/2016 - 08:16 am.

    Mr. Daubt

    I hope you will take an inward look at what your GOP members have accomplished in the last 8 years. I can answer for you – nothing. You and your members are part of the do nothing politicians America is saddled with currently. Your party is leaderless. Worry less about the other party and work on making your party viable again because America needs two strong party’s. NO can not be the only answer your party has. Work with the Democrats to fix the states problem. Politics is not a zero sum game. Politics is intended to be coming to a solution that does the most good for everyone. You will find you think better of yourself if you actually accomplish something.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/27/2016 - 08:46 am.

    To My Friends out Here in Rural Minnesota

    Do you STILL not smell the rotting dead woodchuck under the floor of the Republican Party?

    There is more than enough unspent state money very available to help those among us who are about to be nailed with unconscionable insurance premium increases.

    It’s a very simple fix for the state to provide direct subsidies to those whose rates are making this big jump.

    In years past, a 1/2 day special session would have been more than adequate,…

    but our Republican friends are clearly proving that,…

    just as with last year’s spending bill that they screwed up in the closing minutes of legislative session,…

    POLITICAL considerations are far more important to them,…

    then the well being of we, the people, whom they were elected to serve.

    Our Republican friends are SO DETERMINED to destroy the Affordable Care Act,…

    and return us to the much MORE expensive system we used to have,…

    where the coverage would be less and the premiums even higher,…

    that they’re willing to flush down the toilet the lives of each and every one of those 250,000 Minnesotans who premiums are about to be massively increased.

    The reality is, you and I don’t count to the Republican politicians who represents us.

    The only thing that counts to them is scoring enough political points to win the game as its currently laid out for them by conservative talk radio and TV,…

    while trying to keep us blind to the source of that rotten smell wafting up through the floor boards of the rural parts of our state which they represent,…

    a smell which is emanating from the Republican Party as it current exists.

  4. Submitted by Jim Million on 10/27/2016 - 09:59 am.

    Sorry, Guys

    The original predictions for ACA devolution were based on knowledge, not opinion or dreams. No one should be surprized or defensive now. MNsure’s issues were also always more than a technical “glitch.” There are no surprises here for knowledgeable observers.

    Why not spend some space honestly evaluating those who produced the outcomes? Constant Republican bashing is sophomoric, as is perpetual demonization of Democrats by others. Time for even many old guys to grow up and seek affirmation through more significant actions. Very boring…

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/27/2016 - 10:43 am.

      affirmation through more significant actions

      America has a health care crisis. The Democrats with no help from the Republicans have made a first stab at solving that crisis. They helped a lot of people but there are problems that can only be solved by a united country. The Republicans have offered zero. Let us honestly evaluate “those who produced the outcomes”. Two people are trying to push their dead car off o the side of the road. One person is struggling to push the car and steer at the same time. Progress is slow. The other person stands back with his arms crossed complaining that there is nothing wrong with the car, people that don’t have functioning cars don’t need to travel, and besides if we let him he could figure a better way to get the car off the road. But he’d be darned if he was gonna help push.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/27/2016 - 12:57 pm.

        I believe

        my subtext is validated in your reference on only the first half of a balanced statement. I enjoy analagy and allusion, as many readers know, so I appreciate your vision of the “dead car.” I don’t believe that car was “dead,” but certainly requiring repair and factory updates not installed by previous owners. Reasonable extension of the history, here? No Republican mechanics were called to the repair and design teams.

        What I read here today is some unrealistic assertion that Republicans prevented the ACA bill from being all it was intended to be. That’s just not believable, given the well-publicized manner in which the entire process was controlled by the other Party and whatevet its ancillary designers had in mind. If you look back to file footage of various top players, you will see them glory in their power, determination and ownership. They didn’t ask (or want) any Republican help. It’s better to review what a significant number of Democrats did and did not want in the legislation. Most of this honest friction was kept from cameras and speeches.
        Pleaese trust me…I followed this one very closely all the way, including its Minnesota corollary planning

        I asssure you, had the Republican caucus been in House majority and wishing to launch a major reform as this, those Republican leaders would not have brought known Democrat obstructionists into the process, either. Democrats would have boycotted the process, absolutely using rhetoric differentiated only by name changes. There were simply far too many brazen declarations made by Pelosi & Reid to believe they wanted anything from the Republican thinkers. We all saw that: the closed doors, the furtive remarks and lack of outline, at minimum. Sophomoric? Well, Nancy Pelosi’s famous declarations certainly were that.

        Most of us agree something was required to account for civil lapses and demographic inequities following the complications of an expanding HIPAA that, in my professional opinion, could have formed the program within which all pertinent heathcare revisions might have been made. Meaning “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,” HIPAA logically could have been properly re-named “Health Insurance Accessibiltiy, Portability and Accountability Act. [Those clever Washington staffers would have devised something more clever than my quick thought.]

        We’re not going to move toward critical revisions and honest objectives by continuing the claim of Republican recalcitrance as source of failure. Simply not the case. Democrats designed ACA and pushed it into law and the market mostly ignoring valid concerns and forecasts. Those who simply cannot admit to this reality should probaly not think about any of this. New overhaul is about to begin, for sure. What, by whom and how are to be determined (tbd).

        Yikes, there’s a lot of “tbd” to deal with next year, isn’t there?

        • Submitted by Ellen Hoerle on 10/27/2016 - 05:36 pm.

          I’m sorry but your pretext that Democrats didn’t want any Republican input is ridiculous. Democrats started with a ‘Republican tried in Massachusetts’/Heritage Foundation idea in the first place, in hopes that they would secure some Republican support. That didn’t happen. In the end, not even moderate Republicans would vote for the ACA, even after Democrats kept removing things they thought Republicans would be opposed to like a public option. The ACA is flawed but that’s mostly because Democrats had to make the lobbyists happy, not because they didn’t include any Republican ideas. The foundation of the ACA is a Republican idea.

          And what are those current Republican ideas that keep popping up to replace Obamacare? Enable purchasing insurance across state lines (to foster competition, don’t you know), Health Savings Accounts, and eradicating fraud and abuse (by patients, none the less). So the Republican solution to insurance companies pulling out of the exchanges and not providing insurance options for people within a state is to allow those insurance companies to sell across state lines? Ha Ha Rolling on the floor LMAO.

          Admit it. Republicans don’t have anything better. In fact they don’t have anything at all. If fact, if Democrats were to suddenly show interest in any of the three ideas above, Republicans would suddenly reject those ideas, purely on the Republican principle called, ‘it’s a good idea until we convince the Democrats it is a good idea.’

          The reason the insurance companies are losing money in Minnesota is because the risk pools are too small for each insurer and the people who are signing up for insurance are older and sicker or are coming from the high risk pool program that Minnesota had. The ACA set up a risk corridor program to take care of this problem, but Marco Rubio (uh, I think he’s a Republican) nixed transferring any funds to this program to be given to insurance companies to help even out the imbalances of the selection process.

          The ultimate problem is the size of the risk pool per insurance company and the ever increasing costs of health care, now taking up 17 percent of GDP. Those of us who have employee based insurance have seen rising costs as well but we are somewhat shielded from that because the employer contributes a portion of our costs. That’s why there is such an uproar. People in the individual market don’t have an employer picking up a portion of the tab so they see the full brunt of the costs of those within their small, limited pool using the system. When the ACA was a Republican idea, competition between insurance companies was supposed to keep costs down, but of course that completely misunderstands what insurance companies’ role is–transfer money from patient to provider and keep some profit. That’s why the ACA is crashing–no one was willing to accept how insurance companies really work.

          • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/28/2016 - 07:08 am.

            Tortured Reality Here

            Sorry, your Massachusetts premise simply has little relationship to the process we saw in Congress. Perhaps reality of outcomes has forced many to typically drag Republicans into the responsibility.

            Your argument is generally circular here, simply because ACA was and is a Democrat creation, as originally noted. Most of your observations regarding current problems were forecast by those who truly know/knew the health insurance issues in the United States. Most everything recently reported was forecast by those who knew the issues. That would not include many politicians. There simply is no denying ACA is a Democrat program. Why many cannot now admit that is simply a symptom of some embarrassment, if not simple denial.
            I take no partisan position here, as most others do; rather, I simply review what was known then to experienced industry members and consequently predicted.

            It is/was clear that the main ACA focus was expansion of the Medicaid program to identify and enroll those living without formal coverage, consequently increasing pressures on Emergency Room matters, in particular. Enrolling those in the benefit shadows was always a laudible objective. The known issue to all ACA designers was that of paying the significant new cost of Medicaid expansion.

            And, today we see that unrealistic projections that refused to acknowledge realisitic issues have come to a pricing rupture. That’s simply what the current “emergency” is: a price rupture requiring emergency subsidy increases. That is simply fact…fact that requires attention.

            Many of us quite simply understood this stuff quite well…and many of us strongly agreed that Medicaid should be made to work better and more effectively in terms of its true population. The expansion has worked as expected, for the most part, in terms of care services and program delivery. The current issue is price, not performance.

            The overall program is faltering and revealing many expected consequences. Those who wish to deny realities are not those to offer remedies. Sorry.

            • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 10/28/2016 - 09:57 am.

              Yes and no

              While there’s no doubt that the final ACA bill is a Democratic one, to say that Republicans were shut out of the process is absurd. President Obama bent over backwards to try and get Republican input, including telling Nancy Pelosi to sit on her bill for the better part of 2009 so that the Senate “Gang of Six” could try to hammer out a bipartisan compromise. During that process, Republicans offered no comprehensive alternative.

              It should also be pointed out that the even with the price “emergency” we are facing today, premium rates on the exchanges under the ACA are where they were projected by the CBO when the bill was passed. And, the very plans being offered on those exchanges (high deductible plans with HSAs) are in fact the very sorts of plans that Republicans said were the answer during the previous Administration.

        • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 10/28/2016 - 09:43 am.

          No Republicans called?

          Sorry, but utter bull.

          There was plenty of time when the ACA was being drafted. Their only response, their only contribution, was “NO”.

          They’ve have 6 years to draft an alternative. All we’ve gotten were slogans and a couple of bills that address a tiny, tiny part of the issue. And those were for show.

          Oh wait, we also got over 60 bills to repeal the ACA. (Hard to count precisely as they sometimes take the form of cutting off one leg of a three legged stool.)

          Notice how it’s always “repeal and replace”. Which means repeal first. Why not just replace? Why haven’t Republicans, in over 6 years, come up with a comprehensive alternative that can be evaluated?

          Because in our private insurance model, the only way anyone has figured out to eliminate the ability to deny coverage due to preexisting conditions is a) a universal mandate or b) government subsidies.

          You – or other Republicans – have a better idea? Put it out there and have the insurance industry weigh in. Draft an alternative, in in entirely, and put it out for review.

          Or at least have the honesty to admit you want things the way they were before the ACA. When people were routinely denied coverage for preexisting conditions – both real and possible. When people were bankrupted with uncovered bills. When people were afraid to leave a job with benefits because they could not otherwise get insurance.

          • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/30/2016 - 10:20 am.

            Utter What??

            Blind (and incorrect) Assertions, Harris:

            “You – or other Republicans – have a better idea?”
            “Or at least have the honesty to admit you want things the way they were before the ACA.”

            Please continue to read the thread.

          • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/31/2016 - 12:38 pm.

            New Ideas

            The only ideas I’ve seen Republicans put forward have been health savings accounts and open up competition across state lines. Both are about as useful to the current situation as putting racing stripes on a junk yard wreck.

            Savings accounts are only useful if you earn enough money to save a dime here and there, an option that’s not open to most of the poor and middle class. It’s also going to be darn near useless if someone has a major illness, such as cancer or a car accident. These accounts are good if you just need to buy a couple of meds here and there, but it’s not going to cover a $250,000 hospital bill.

            Additional competition is another flat tire people want to install on the car. Assuming this was implemented, the insurance companies would all flood to the major markets, go through a couple of mergers until we’re left with two or three national insurance companies, and then divide the markets among themselves and raise prices.

            Sound familiar?

            For the smaller markets, they’ll say it’s not profitable enough for them to go into those markets. If they’re forced to go there, then, by gosh, they’ll need government subsidies to make a go of it.

            Assuming, of course, the market isn’t already dominated by a local player, such as Rochester, Minnesota. Who is going to go up against Mayo Clinic? Mayo owns all the hospitals, clinics, and doctors in the area as it is.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 10/27/2016 - 10:49 am.

      Republican bashing is sophomoric?

      It seems you would like to lay blame to those who helped make 23 million Americans more secure (without using the Pentagon). Solving the problem doesn’t require any blame be assigned at all.

      After the blame we still will have:

      •The bankruptcy of many from a single medical emergency-

      •The inability to even get health insurance, for example if you happened to be born with type 1 diabetes-

      •The lone homeless patient with chronic conditions whose ER visits cost hospitals tens of thousands-

      •The refusal to require negotiated drug and supply prices-

      Which problem would the Republicans like to solve? It appears NONE of them.
      What major party would turn their back on 22 million people and still survive?

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/28/2016 - 10:23 am.

        Your Cogent Response:

        “Solving the problem doesn’t require any blame be assigned at all.”

        Isn’t this the fact of many matters?

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/27/2016 - 11:52 am.

      The crisis in health care exists–whether there is ACA or not.

      ACA added no new costs to the system. People without insurance who got sick simply had all of the other people pay for their care through a variety of means.

      The real issue is that health care consumes far too much money.

      Eliminate the ACA–have more uninsured who will have their costs paid for by other peoples insurance, or by taxes to keep health-care providers from going under through uncompensated care.

      I suppose you also think there is no cost to shop-lifting–there too, everyone else pay for the cost of those who don’t pay.

    • Submitted by Ken Bearman on 10/27/2016 - 08:42 pm.

      MNsure’s issues

      “MNsure’s issues were also always more than a technical ‘glitch.’ There are no surprises here for knowledgeable observers.” – Jim Million

      The issues in Minnesota’s exchange are all technical and have no connection with or to the insurance companies’ 2017 premiums, copays, or other charges. They may not be just glitches, but the GOP’s legislative obstruction prohibited any planning from starting for at least a year until the DFL won a House majority in 2012. The result was that organizing and making decisions; hiring vendors; planning the project; and so on were needlessly delayed and compressed into too short a time.

      That kind of legislative sand-in-the-gears nonwork is — to borrow a phrase from Bob Collins (MPR’s Newscut blogger) — a feature, not a bug. So it isn’t a surprise that there were and are issues.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/01/2016 - 10:02 am.

      Right AND wrong

      I was never under the impression that the ACA was the end all, be all. The problem with the ACA is that it is a “free market” fix that really needed a truly socialized fix. That is, when you force people to participate in a for-profit system, someone MUST make money–there are no meaningful limitations on that profit. That does not mean that a private insurance could be maintained as a supplemental system, but private insurance is not terribly efficient or effective–by design. On the other hand, the claim that the reason we shouldn’t socialize insurance because there aren’t enough doctors is a moral black hole. We do need more doctors, but we need to find a way to make it worthwhile for smart people to become general practitioners, not spend a ton on school and then become specialists because that’s the only way they can afford to be a doctor (or want to, for that matter). Medical care is expensive, and we need to make a more holistic solution work, including:
      1. educating doctors — school in exchange for a minimum number of years as a general practitioner at a reduced income at a public hospital/clinic
      2. provide a socialized basic insurance – preventative care (vaccines, pre/neo natal, well-baby, dental cleaning, smoking cessation), basic treatment (non-cosmetic, life sustaining, and life saving)
      3. be realistic about end-of-life; socialized insurance should not be responsible for extraordinary measures for minor results (though, private insurance might)

      The measures above should reduce the overall cost of healthcare while leaving a place for for-profit health care and insurance.

  5. Submitted by Tim Smith on 10/27/2016 - 10:43 am.

    Amen

    Dayton and his liberal followers own this mess and must be held accountable. It is no longer a question of what Dayton knew, but when did he know it? The answer is he has known this for a long time but not acted. He could have stepped up to fix the obvious so middle class Minnesotans wouldn’t be facing the heartbreaking financial news they are now. Is it to much to ask to have your supposed
    leader actually lead?

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/27/2016 - 11:31 am.

      We Can Only Wish

      that Gov. Dayton were as omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and able to see the future with complete clarity,…

      as some of our “conservative” friends believe him to be,…

      while blaming him for not acting as if he were God,…

      for which they’d criticize him even MORE vehemently.

      The reality is, the Affordable Care Act allowed the state to set up a marketplace by which insurance companies,…

      by the principles of the free market (with some restrictions for what must be covered, etc.,),…

      could compete with each other to win policyholders.

      The rates in that marketplace are NOT set by the state,…

      they’re set by the INSURANCE COMPANIES!

      If you’re proposing that we cast aside the free market and have the STATE set rates in order to protect consumers from their insurance companies,…

      I don’t believe you can consider yourself a “conservative” anymore.

      If you’re proposing that we go back to the old system,…

      you’re rapidly going to discover that,…

      coverage will be less,…

      rates will be FAR HIGHER,…

      and insurance companies will go back to the very high profit game,…

      of only insuring healthy people,…

      while charging very high premiums,…

      routinely finding excuses to deny coverage specified in your policy,…

      and dumping you if you ever get sick.

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 10/27/2016 - 03:08 pm.

        you are wrong as…well you know

        The State on a very regular basis actually does set insurance rates, rates do not go out without approval, which has only been the case in Minnesota for the last 20 years or so..Dayton sees the numbers all the time. initial rate results were made to the State back in May. Why didn’t he sound the alarm then?

        Premiums used to be lower and folks were denied and sent to MCHA so they didn’t wait to apply only when sick. Why would anyone have paid premiums healthy?

        Maybe now you can go grab some old n tired out of context liberal rhetoric off the shelf, OR actually learn the subject. your choice…

        • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 10/28/2016 - 01:24 pm.

          While we’re on the subject of learning…

          The state does NOT set rates, but it does approve them (or not) based on the data the insurance company provides. As you say, “rates do not go out without approval”. But the insurance companies can, and do, decide not to offer services if the state does not approve a rate they are comfortable with.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/30/2016 - 10:14 am.

        Greg

        This simply was not the Minnesota scenario prior to ACA. Our Departments of Health and Commerce have been very active in setting and policing consumer-directed policies for years…years since reforms of the 1980s. It is simply nonsense to lay a template of certain other states over the Minnesota model. Most of our companies have been non-profit/HMO models of one kind or another. These are most famously Medica Health Plans, BCBS-MN, HealthPartners, with a few smaller players in niche markets, like UCare. Many arguments transferred from preferred sources of personal reinforcement simply do not hold weight here. The simple truth regarding the old-style “indemnity insurance” companies is that most of them left our state a long time ago.

        We have done an excellent job of merging various players for efficiencies of operations and inefficiencies of duplicative services. We were leaders in the “health system” model: Fairview, North Memorial, Allina, etc. We have tried several tactics, including service mergers, to improve financial viability of two: Fairview and University Physicians/Hospitals. That still is not going well after a very long time.

        If any state has truly set its agenda to be ahead of the problems, Minnesota has. Sometimes its over-burdoning agenda of regulations and dysfunctional relationship between Health and Commerce have increased dysfunction; however, reforms have been made there as well, better clarifying lines of authority.

        Be fortunate to reside in Minnesota, if you do. We’ve done better under the dictates of ACA than many other states not nearly up to our calibre. We must parse all this national commentary with that in mind.
        We must also cleary separate ACA’s Medicaid segment from market segments. The single issue on Gov. Dayton’s agenda was increasing our subsidy to defray 2017 increases for that population. Separate issue.
        That’s the news item this week.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/27/2016 - 12:13 pm.

      Step Right Up!

      Maybe you can answer the question of whether the Republicans going to do anything to help? Hint: Smirking, or calling for resignations, is not helping.

      “Is it to much to ask to have your supposed leader actually lead?” Is there a former Governor we can ask, to get his input? Mr. Pawlenty, are you there?

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/27/2016 - 01:08 pm.

        RB

        I know we can have an intelligent conversation here. I simply wish to not plow the grounds of 2010. To begin, allow me to note that standard policies of business and personal life include going back to the designer and builder of a delvelopment to re-assess outcomes and remedies…before going to outside parties.
        [I’m disregarding those many who first go to their attorneys, of course. Trying to begin with forward motion.]

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/27/2016 - 02:10 pm.

          Standard Policies

          The standard policy should be to fix the problem, and ascribe blame later.

          In a democracy, are there any “outside parties?” Is it appropriate for elected officials to stand back and declare themselves “outside parties?”

          • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/28/2016 - 07:26 am.

            Yes, there are:

            Plebiscite is not our business model of political preference. I suppose, if it were, we’d have either greater consensus or more riots…not sure which.

            The political norm seems to first ascribe blame, then call for a fix, and then “fix” [or not] the problem. I’m mostly interested in proper design and intelligent remediation where required.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/28/2016 - 10:22 am.

              Yes and no

              The people are not directly involved, but they are responsible for holding elected officials accountable. This should be done by voting, but also by asking questions, writing letters, signing petitions etc. Citizen engagement is crucial.

              Elected officials are not outsiders. For legislative leaders to step back and demand fixes without their own efforts is grandstanding. Grandstanding is not leadership.

  6. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 10/27/2016 - 11:37 am.

    Amen, Huh?

    Exactly how is Dayton supposed to “step up” when the Republican goal is not to fix the ACA but to destroy it? Time and time again, the Republicans have scuttled any solutions to various problems because they didn’t get their way. And now we have a performance by their leader that would be laughed at in a high school play production. Oh, please, Kurt, don’t personally demand Dayton’s resignation. A 12 year old throwing a fit is more convincing.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/27/2016 - 12:52 pm.

      The real Republican fear is…

      That universal single-payer health care would succeed and the Dems would get the credit.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 10/28/2016 - 06:53 pm.

        Why Fear That?

        Has to be fully subliminal, it seems. Most Republicans are firm in their belief single-payer would not succeed.
        Those other national schemes are not so similar as to provide a consistent view. I’ve written here about the British Health Service and its various issues, and also about a more complex and somewhat ropeline approach in the German system. One might look at the Canadian program, realizing however, difference in our fundamental social system and overall population (and density). All three plans are somewhat different, and provide the assessment value of age and continuity…since WW II, essentially.

        Many niche constituencies may be more obstructive to properly broad single-payer success than most anyone admits. Please consider all the vested interests (employee, supplier, host community) that will have many reasons to carve themselves out of any truly workable national plan. How do we properly incorporate the VA, for instance, or prevailing government employee plans? If one truly believes in “single-payer,” one should also understand the need for uniform incorporation as much as possible.

        Irony here just may arise from significant design obstruction from continuing programs with vested interests.

  7. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 10/27/2016 - 02:32 pm.

    Mr. Delay

    Remember Tom DeLay – Republican from Texas who couldn’t manage to get anything done? Well, Daudt Is Delay of the North. In the last session, he couldn’t get his unruly group of Republicans to get anything done before the last week of the session, and gave no information on their thoughts until the very end – and then screwed up a tax provision and didn’t get a bonding bill done.

    Until the rates were released, which are not actually what people will pay after subsidies and only directly affects 5% of the population,, the state really didn’t know how big a problem it had. Of course, Daudt will never acknowledge that MnSure and Obamacare provided insurance to hundreds of thousands of Miinnesotans who couldn’t access or afford healthcare. Now that we know the issu, Dayton is making a run at setting up a special session. Remember earlier this year, he tried to do the same thing – but the insistence that Republicans get its way on light rail and other issues block that effort. I had it to Dayton for trying to negotiate with Republicans, who are running scared about losing their seats as part of the revulsion with the Republican Party for nomnatng Trump.

    Daudt, do your job and earn your reelection, rather than whining and thratening about this and that. We see exactly the games your are playing and simply say – cut it out!

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/28/2016 - 12:10 pm.

      Do His Job

      Personally I think he is doing his job by stopping excessive spending… That is likely why his district elected him.

      As for: “what people will pay after subsidies and only directly affects 5% of the population”…

      I think you said a lot there… In essence ACA expanded tax payer paid for healthcare (medicare), gave many others tax payer funded health insurance subsidies and spent a ton of tax payer money on developing and marketing multiple virtual market places.

      There are some good things about ACA, but there are more bad things… Especially for the majority of tax payers who are paying for it.

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