This article highlights a clash between Rep. Kurt Daudt and Rep. Paul Thissen. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference but it’s significant:
Thissen, a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member from Minneapolis, said “there’s clearly been problems, significant problems, in the implementation of it” but that the bugs are getting worked out and the system will provide coverage for thousands who hadn’t previously had it.
When Thissen started criticizing proposed GOP alternatives, Daudt, a Republican from Crown, jumped in, saying Minnesotans don’t want a “blame game.”
“The whole philosophy behind this is flawed,” Daudt said of MNsure. Under the state’s old system, he said, about 93 percent of people had coverage. “We scrapped the system that was a leader in the country,” Daudt said, to go to one that’s “riddled with problems.”
But that 7 percent who couldn’t get coverage under the old system represents about half a million people that the state has a moral obligation to help, Thissen said. Until Daudt has a solution for that group, “you ought to stop pointing fingers,” he said.
When he was a member of one of the committees with jurisdiction on the HHS omnibus bill, Steve Gottwalt pointed out that 93% of Minnesotans had health insurance and that half of those that didn’t have health insurance were eligible for a government-offered health insurance. That means approximately 96.5% of Minnesotans were eligible for government-offered insurance or had health insurance.
That’s before questioning whether the other 3.5% of Minnesotans wanted insurance. It’s possible that a significant portion of those people didn’t want health insurance.
That’s significant because it minimizes Speaker Thissen’s argument that Minnesota “has a moral obligation” to help these people. First, why would Minnesota have an obligation to help people who might not want help? The simple answer is that they don’t. Second, let’s get rid of Speaker Thissen’s fuzzy math. If the number of uninsured who can’t get insured is actually 2%, not 5%, then Thissen’s figure of “half a million people” is reduced to approximately 108,000 people.
Finally, Thissen saying that Republicans should stop their criticism until they have a plan is intellectually dishonest. Republicans have a plan. The DFL just doesn’t like it. Rather than the DFL saying what they like or don’t like about the GOP plan, the DFL pretends that Republicans don’t have a plan.
The DFL created a health insurance exchange. Unfortunately, their plan, not just the HIX, stinks. The policies offered through MNsure are the cheapest in the nation. Unfortunately, these policies’ premiums are more expensive than before the Anything But Affordable Care Act. That’s before talking about his significantly higher deductibles, which means higher out-of-pocket expenses for families.
That means I’m still waiting for the DFL to offer legislation that provides real health insurance reform.