Category Archives: Healthcare

Republican Chairman proposes undoing MNsure in “unsession” to cut losses

(Minneapolis) – Citing the independent MNSure report published this week, Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey is calling for MNsure to be shut down and for Minnesota to lead the nation by charting a new bi-partisan, consumer focused healthcare future.

“After blowing $160 million dollars, causing real harm to people in Minnesota and damaging our state’s nation-leading health care system, it is time for Governor Dayton to cut our losses and undo MNsure in his self titled “unsession” coming up,” said Downey. “The report basically recommends a do-over, but it’s impossible to believe we would see a different result. Government never should have tried to take over healthcare, and no number of do-overs can fix the real problem which is Obamacare itself.”

The independent report, issued by Optum at MNSure’s request, was highly critical of MNsure’s governance, operations and information systems. The recommendations prescribe re-work that in many cases means starting over with new operations and scrapping entire systems. The report also identifies a number of elements that do not yet exist and need to be completed from scratch. The major fixes are estimated to take over a year.

Downey stressed that prior to implementing Obamacare via MNsure, Minnesota covered a wider range of people than Obamacare does, and covered pre-existing conditions better than Obamacare does. Downey called for consumer focused solutions to improve health insurance, but recognized that it would not be possible while Obamacare controls what states can and cannot do.

Downey suggested that “Senator Franken and Governor Dayton need to take responsibility for the failure of Obamacare and its Minnesota MNsure implementation,” and “begin working in a bipartisan way at the state and federal level to undo the mistaken government takeover of healthcare.” In the meantime Downey says there are only “least worst” options, but the directional change is needed.

“Senator Franken was the deciding vote as the Democrats jammed Obamacare through without a single Republican vote. Here at home Governor Dayton and the Democrats passed and implemented MNsure without a single Republican, claiming they could do it better than the Feds, and believing that government is best equipped to run your health care. But now they’ve wasted all the money,” Downey continued. “Continuing to throw good money after bad on MNsure would be a huge mistake.”

Without its own Obamacare exchange, Minnesota would revert to using the federal exchange along with over 30 other states. The federal exchange is receiving ongoing infusions of cash from the federal government to fix its problems. “Using the federal exchange may be no better, but it won’t be worse,” Downey concluded. “At least we wouldn’t be paying double for two failures.”

– 30 –

Prepared and Paid for by the Republican Party of Minnesota
Keith Downey, Chair
Not Authorized By Any Candidate or Candidate’s Committee


Can You Believe This?


Can you believe this? Just six months ago, Governor Dayton signed into law the creation of MNSure, Minnesota’s implementation of Obamacare. He was among the first of several Democrat governors to fall in lockstep with President Obama.

Apparently, our Governor didn’t read the bill.
Now Dayton says the program isn’t working and the number of Minnesotans adversely affected by the federal law is “staggering.”

  • After spending more than $150 million of YOUR money, not a single Minnesotan has been able to complete the enrollment process and pay for new coverage.
  • At least 140,000 Minnesotans have received letters from their current insurers informing them their plans will be discontinued.
  • As many as 1 in 20 Minnesotans will be forced to give up policies they like, with doctors of their choosing, and forced into more expensive policies that cover services they don’t need.

When asked about a 56 year old man being required to purchase maternity care, Dayton replied, “it defies common sense.”
Attempting to distance himself from a president whose approval numbers are tanking, Dayton told reporters that he has little influence as governor, but, he said, “the president promised that if people like their current policy, they could keep it.”
Little influence? Perhaps Governor Dayton should take another look at his job description. He didn’t have to sign MNSure into law forcing millions of Minnesotans to change their health care coverage.

Not one Republican voted for Obamacare. Not one. Governor Dayton brought Obamacare to Minnesota and he needs to take responsibility for the results of implementing the federal program through MNSure.
~ Republican Party of Minnesota

ObamaCare Hurts Minnesotans

Franken’s Political Career Tied to Unpopular Law 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Al Franken is one of ObamaCare’s biggest proponents, but the unpopular law is already hurting the middle class and increasing health care costs in Minnesota,” said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.

“The result of Al Franken’s relentless support of ObamaCare is that  dysfunctional Washington now stands between doctors and patients, which raises costs and lowers the quality of care.”

The disastrous ObamaCare launch has caused many to question whether Administration officials should be fired and the unpopular law be delayed. Meanwhile, Al Franken refuses to acknowledge that ObamaCare is causing health care costs to rise, that many people are not able to keep the plans and doctors that they are comfortable with, and that workers are seeing their hours cut and suffering the consequences.

The flawed website can’t be differentiated from the product. As the glitches and broken promises continue to come online, Franken will try to distance himself from ObamaCare. The truth is, however, that ObamaCare is Franken’s legacy and the problems run far deeper than the need for an IT specialist. If simply signing up for the program causes this kind of problem, imagine what a disaster trying to see a doctor will be for Minnesotans.

Make no mistake; it is the personal impact that ObamaCare will have on women, seniors, and families that is the real trainwreck for Democratic candidates who have tied themselves to the unpopular law.

In Minnesota:

  • Health care costs for individual market plans will increase 19%.
  • Seniors will see Medicare cuts to doctors and hospitals totaling more than $9,000 per Minnesota enrollee.
  • Minnesota  could have to increase Medicaid spending $423 million – $179 per household.
  • A 27 year old will see their premiums increase by 15% and a 50 year old by more than 22% according to the Heritage Foundation.


Good or Bad-Major Health Care Changes are Here

Dear Friends:

MNsure, Minnesota’s branch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was officially open for public enrollment on October 1, 2013 and will close March 31, 2014.

MNsure is an online website for Minnesotans to search government-organized health insurance plans and coverage that was created under the federal health care reform effort (ACA) which required each state to set up a health insurance exchange or else the federal government would set up an exchange for them.

The ACA requires everyone to have health care coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014 (with certain exceptions). The penalty for not doing so is the greater of $95 or 1% of household income for the first year. Shopping through MNsure is one way individuals and small employers purchase health care coverage. Minnesotans can also buy directly from private insurance carriers or work with an insurance agent or broker if they prefer. If you already have health care coverage through a large employer, you likely will not have to do anything different. People covered by Medicare will continue to have the same coverage as they have had in the past.

Individuals and families not currently covered by insurance offered through their employers and small businesses with 50 employees or less can use MNsure. MNsure is also the application portal for Minnesota’s public health care programs like Medical Assistance and MNCare.

Depending on your location in Minnesota there will be at least two and up to five different insurance companies with plan options available. The plans will be categorized in “Metal Levels” which indicates different levels of coverage. A Bronze level plan will cover roughly 60% of the costs of services it offers. Silver will cover roughly 70%, Gold will cover 80%, and Platinum will cover roughly 90% of the costs of the benefits provided.

With the recent launch of MNsure there have been a handful of technology problems. There were widespread delays and errors, specifically with creating accounts, verifying identity and comparing plan options. One notable delay is the “search by provider” function. The website asks users if it’s important for them to keep their current doctor or clinic. When a user clicks “yes,” a message appears saying the function isn’t available. This may be a big problem for people who are anxious to find out if they can keep their doctor if they buy a plan through MNsure.

Many concerns have been raised by constituents and government officials regarding the health care exchange. A notable concern was when MNsure staff mishandled and released private data which included social security numbers of 2,400 individuals. Many are worried that they are not sufficient enough to protect privacy. MNsure even asked the American Indian community to hold off from applying for one week because of significant problems the system was experiencing.

To learn more you can contact MNsure’s Call Center at 1-855-3-MNSURE (1-855-366-7873) or visit their website at

If you have any positive or negative experiences with this new program or ObamaCare in general, please let us know. I can be reached by telephone at (651) 296-3826 or (855) 407-7386, by e-mail at, or via mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

It is an honor to serve you here in Saint Paul.


Senator Torrey Westrom
District 12
107 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-3826
(855) 407-7386