J. Ted Plombon, Sartell
There was a recent poll released from MNSure, Minnesota’s equivalent to ObamaCare, touting a reduction of medically uninsured in Minnesota dropping by nearly 50 percent. With full implementation of the ACA/Obamacare effective Jan. 1, 2014 there has been great interest on the law’s early impact.
Let’s take a look to see where those previously uninsured people are now getting their coverage. Some of this information is taken from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center. View the entire report at www.shadac.org. The authors of the report took data from Sept. 30, 2013 and May 1, 2014. Their finding was there was a drop of 180,500 of uninsured people in Minnesota or 40.6 percent. However, the drop was primarily driven by an increase in the number of Minnesotans who enrolled in the state’s health-insurance programs, Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and Minnesota Care. Of the 180,500 newly insured, over 155,000 were enrolled in these two taxpayer programs. This is possible because Obamacare expands the eligibility for Medicaid. That equates to less than 25,000 insureds that actually purchased private health plans through MNSure. Most of those plans were also subsidized by you and me, the taxpayers.
The federal government doled out $4.6 billion to the 15 states that are left running their own exchanges. Minnesota and the 14 other states will need to figure out how they will fund their exchanges starting next year in 2015. Minnesota does have the highest tax at 3.5 percent of premium to help offset some of the cost, but I have a feeling they will be asking the taxpayers to once again dig a little deeper into their pockets. You know, it’s all about shared responsibility!
(Plombon is president and CEO of Advantage 1 Insurance in St. Cloud.)