Republicans renew calls to dismantle MNsure

Minn. House Majority Leader Matt Dean
State Rep. Matt Dean, Nov. 7, 2012.
Alex Kolyer | For MPR News 2012

Two Republican members of the Minnesota House on Monday renewed calls to dismantle the state's online health insurance website and send Minnesotans to the federal health insurance exchange.

State Reps. Matt Dean and Greg Davids cited last week's revelation by the Department of Human Service that MNsure's software problems caused a backlog of 180,000 unfinished Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare renewals.

Dean, R-Dellwood, called MNsure an "unnecessary problem."

"If MNsure was a private company, the state of Minnesota would not allow them to do business with the practices that they currently have," Dean said. "It's unacceptable and we need to step in to try to help the Minnesotans currently who are left in the lurch."

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Describing MNsure as an entity that does more harm than good, Dean and Davids, R-Preston, called for the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee to evaluate the insurance exchange.

One of the Democratic architects of MNsure, however, said the MNsure Advisory Task Force lawmakers put into place this year is the best place to consider agency's future.

State Sen. Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, said he's not opposed to shifting to the federal exchange as long as low income Minnesotans would not be harmed.

"This task force is ... charged with coming up with a plan for the future of health care and health care financing in Minnesota," said Lourey, who will serve on the group. "I really look forward to that work."

Lourey said the oversight committee likely will meet this month.