MNsure mismanagement

Jim Nobles is a pretty even-keel kind of guy. He’s a ‘just the facts’ type of person, which is what’s required in investigating things. Now that Mr. Nobles has announced that he’s auditing MNsure, Gov. Dayton has said that he welcomes the audit:

Gov. Mark Dayton and other state agency leaders say they welcome a deeper investigation into MNsure, the new agency that built and operates the new online health insurance exchange.

“I have the highest regard for Mr. Nobles and agree that a full, independent examination of MNsure is highly appropriate,” Dayton said in an e-mailed statement.

That sounds like Gov. Dayton is trying to tell Mr. Nobles how to do his job. At minimum, it sounds like he’s trying to direct Mr. Nobles’ attention towards the contractors.

Mr. Nobles’ response is cause for heartburn for Gov. Dayton and the DFL co-chairs of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee:

“It’s fine to question the performance of the contractor,” Nobles said about the sweep of his audit. “We’ll do that. But one of the worst things you can do in managing these contracts is to stand on the sidelines with the hope that things will go well. You’ve got to be actively managing and verifying.”

In other words, Mr. Nobles isn’t just interested in finding out if the contractors did their job. He’s interested in finding out whether the MNsure board and staff did their jobs and whether the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee paid attention to MNsure’s post-launch problems.

Here’s what stood out in this article:

Gov. Mark Dayton has strongly criticized one major vendor and publicly demanded improvement since the bumpy rollout of the website in October. The state legislative auditor launched a review Tuesday to determine to what degree vendors and state officials are responsible for the problems. And a committee of state legislators will convene Thursday demanding answers for a program envisioned as a gateway to health insurance for more than 800,000 Minnesotans this year.

During the September 24th meeting, Sen. Sean Nienow raised questions about data security. Sen. Nienow’s questions didn’t get answered. At that meeting, Sen. Michelle Benson questioned the prioritization of projects within the MNsure project at that same meeting. That’s the last time the committee met.

It’s certain that the DFL will do plenty of grandstanding at this morning’s meeting. It’s important to remember that it’s been 107 days and an executive director resignation since their last meeting. The question that the DFL won’t answer is why they didn’t hold a hearing while MNsure dealt with one crisis after another.

It isn’t a stretch to think that Sen. Lourey and Rep. Atkins, the co-chairs of the Oversight Committee, chose not to hold another hearing because their chief goal was to run political interference for Gov. Dayton. That isn’t leadership.

Whenever a political party puts a higher priority on protecting their politicians than it puts on doing what’s right for the state, that’s a sign that that political party is morally bankrupt. Right now, it’s apparent that the DFL is morally bankrupt. That’s why they should be fired en masse next November.