State officials say 14 people who managed the troubled MNsure online health insurance exchange were paid bonuses of more than $26,000 just after its launch.
Software problems plagued the website, which overwhelmed its call center in St. Paul after the exchange went online Oct. 1. In a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton this week, Republican Rep. Joe Hoppe, of Chaska, said that given the "chaos" of the launch, the bonuses are "reminiscent of the worst excesses of Wall Street."
Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson says the governor was not aware the bonuses were awarded. MNsure officials say the bonuses were made for work done before the launch and before the problems began. MNsure spokesman John Schadl says the exchange's former director approved the bonuses.
Minnesota set up the exchange to implement the federal Affordable Care Act.