Due Diligence

A front page article in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the struggles of Minnesota Democrat Governor Mark Dayton to implement MNsure, the local variant of Obamacare (“Republicans lean on MNsure to make case against Dayton”).

The thesis of the piece is that Republicans are hoping to use MNsure’s start-up difficulties against Gov. Dayton in his 2014 re-election bid.  Not to worry: MNsure’s fortunes (along with Dayton’s) are turning around.  The Star Tribune reports.

And there is a chance the political dynamics surrounding MNsure could shift as more people acquire health insurance.
The numbers are already beginning to shift underneath the larger political conversation, and success stories are emerging.
‘I was thrilled with it’
Small business owner Karin Alexander of Maple Grove bought insurance through MNsure.  She went without coverage about a year after the policies she found on the open market proved too expensive.
Like many, Alexander experienced repeated delays as the MNsure website crashed again and again.  Her frustration grew as the deadline loomed and it took more than a week to sign up.
But when she finally got her plan, Alexander said, “it was cheaper insurance and better coverage. I was thrilled with it.”
That immediately made her loyal to MNsure and to the man whom she credits with ushering it into existence.
“I think there are lots of people like me who would come to Dayton’s rescue and say, ‘MNsure is a great thing,’ ” Alexander said.

Another satisfied customer.  However, something tells me that Ms. Alexander was loyal to Mark Dayton, even before the October 1, 2013 roll out of MNsure.

The Maple Grove Patch reports that Ms. Alexander served as Campaign Manager for Maple Grove’s Sharon Bahensky, who ran as the Democrat nominee in 2012 for state senate in District 34.  A quick check of records at the Campaign Finance Board reveals that Ms. Alexander donated $500 (the maximum then allowed) to Bahensky’s 2012 campaign.

For the Star Tribune to portray Alexander as a recent convert to Gov. Dayton’s cause is to mislead the reader.