Dayton wants task force to look at MNsure

Updated 4:46 p.m. | Posted 4:28 p.m.

When Gov. Mark Dayton's supplemental budget is released on Tuesday, it will include $500,000 for a special health care finance task force to evaluate the future of the state's new health insurance website.

"The launch of MNsure created serious problems for many consumers," Dayton wrote in his letter. "Although we have seen significant improvements, there are still important unresolved issues."

The task force will consider options including MNsure's long-term financial viability, moving to a federal exchange, and changes to other public health care programs, Dayton's letter states.

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"Looking ahead, we must make some major policy and programmatic decisions that will strengthen Minnesota's position as the nation's health care leader, while making the best use of our state's financial resources," Dayton wrote.

MNsure has been the subject of ongoing scrutiny since it launched in the fall of 2013. Consumers continue to have trouble buying insurance, and the website still doesn't do everything it promised to do, though the site's performance has improved.

Legislators are debating a slew of bills that would change how MNsure is governed, including that would move the state to the federal exchange.

For his part, Dayton said he supports the recommendations from the Office of the Legislative Auditor that would make the agency accountable directly to his office.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said more time and money won't fix MNsure's problems.

“Frankly I’m not sure MNsure can wait that long, He said. "I don’t think it’s sustainable that long, and frankly we can’t let Minnesotans continue to get hurt by this. We can’t sit by for another year while more Minnesotans are hurt by it. So, it’s time to deal with it and it’s time to deal with it right now.”

Daudt said he wants the existing MNsure Legislation Oversight Committee to start meeting to address problems with the exchange. The panel has not met since last November.

Read Dayton's entire letter: