Minnesota to outsource ObamaCare exchange management to private sector

posted at 12:01 pm on April 16, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Even for Mark Dayton, this is a remarkable retreat. Last week Dayton refused to have one of his aides testify to a legislative panel investigating the MNSure debacle and exactly when the governor and his team knew of the massive problems in the state’s ObamaCare exchange. He held a press conference last week to accuse Republicans of ignoring all of the improvements in MNSure and how his team brought the system under control after the problems of “months ago”:

KMSP-TV

Seven days later, the Dayton administration threw in the towel and admitted that MNSure can’t manage itself:

After fumbling the job for more than a year, MNsure has hired an experienced IT company to coordinate the complex work needed to finish and repair its troubled health insurance exchange.

Deloitte Consulting is scheduled Wednesday to present its plans for moving the online marketplace forward during MNsure’s board of directors meeting. It isn’t clear how much the contract with Deloitte is worth, but MNsure’s preliminary budget earmarked at least $10 million for technical work this year.

The hiring of an outside company reflects a grudging recognition that MNsure is not capable of managing the project, a concern recently voiced by its independent auditor. The state agency was created to enroll uninsured Minnesotans as part of the Affordable Care Act, but its efforts have been hampered by a troublesome website that has frustrated thousands of would-be enrollees.

MNsure has “compartmentalized” tasks to such a degree that it cannot make sure the most important work is getting done first, leading to lingering website problems and “poor customer satisfaction,” according Software Engineering Services (SES) of Bellevue, Neb.

Overall, MNsure failed to make progress on 15 of 44 outstanding issues, worse than any previous quarter, according to the March 20 report. SES concluded that Minnesota “is unable to effectively manage the project.”

“Smooth sailing,” eh? Not only have the problems not stopped, performance has actually gotten worse since Dayton claimed to have become aware of MNSure’s performance issues. No wonder the board wants to wash its hands of its own mess.

Here’s a question, then: If government is unable to manage this market and it has to be outsourced to the private sector, why did we create ObamaCare in the first place? Why didn’t we just leave it to the private sector all along? Perhaps Governor Dayton and other Democrats in Minnesota will answer that question. I suspect they’ll be outsourcing their accountability, too.


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Just imagine how much the Obamanation Administration could achieve if people would just quit bringing up all of these scandals.

oscarwilde on April 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Here’s a question, then: If government is unable to manage this market and it has to be outsourced to the private sector, why did we create ObamaCare in the first place? Why didn’t we just leave it to the private sector all along? Perhaps Governor Dayton and other Democrats in Minnesota will answer that question. I suspect they’ll be outsourcing their accountability, too.

Maybe,, just maybe, Mark Dayton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ted Kennedy, Tom Daschle, and everyone else who champions state-run health care really aren’t worried about people’s health. It saddens me how that fact is revelatory to some.

gryphon202 on April 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

…Minnesota must have signed up 3 million of those 7.1 million people on ObamaCare…by themselves!

KOOLAID2 on April 16, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Unbelievable…

OmahaConservative on April 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

If government is unable to manage this market and it has to be outsourced to the private sector, why did we create ObamaCare in the first place? Why didn’t we just leave it to the private sector all along?

Shhhhhh! Big Brother will hear you!

Occams Stubble on April 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM

He held a press conference last week to accuse Republicans of ignoring all of the improvements in MNSure and how his team brought the system under control after the problems of “months ago”:

So he’s a filthy liar on top of everything else?

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

What the state ought to do (and the Feds for that matter) is sell the exchange to a private for-profit operator. In fact, if I were the GOP trying to figure out how to develop a free-market approach to fix this mess that’s one of my first proposals. The state, and the Feds, could get some of their money back and probably a week or two later you’d have a working exchange.

MTF on April 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

So he’s a filthy liar on top of everything else?

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Well, it is a requirement for being a member of the Democrat party you know.

oscarwilde on April 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Here’s a question, then: If government is unable to manage this market and it has to be outsourced to the private sector, why did we create ObamaCare in the first place?

C’mon, Ed. You know the answer. Its been said many, many times right on HA.

ObamaCare is not about healthcare or insurance policies. It is about control of individuals and maintaining the liberal/progressive constituency, ergo, power.

BobMbx on April 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Minnesota

MiniWashingtonDC

fogw on April 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM

So he’s a filthy liar on top of everything else?

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

“Baghdad Mark”

VegasRick on April 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM

For months, MNsure officials have complained that many of its problems are related to poor performance by the agency’s vendors,

Astounding. Try blaming a private sector project’s failure on the vendors you chose. If project managers came whining to me with that lame excuse, they would fired on the spot. Government is inherently incapable of understanding that you can delegate authority, but not responsibility.

MNsure has “compartmentalized” tasks to such a degree that it cannot make sure the most important work is getting done first

And in a world driven by politics rather than performance, there is no incentive to be efficient. Absurd organizational structures like that are the result.

RadClown on April 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

LOL!

This state slays me.

gophergirl on April 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Here’s a question, then: If government is unable to manage this market and it has to be outsourced to the private sector, why did we create ObamaCare in the first place? Why didn’t we just leave it to the private sector all along?

Because, shut up you racist!

rbj on April 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Gotta say, Ed, as crooked and dopey as our Governor is in Illinois, Dayton has to be the stupidest Governor in America. The biggest a-hole is still O’Malley in Maryland, but Dayton is close.

Jaibones on April 16, 2014 at 12:43 PM

First smart move they’ve made yet.

Ed –
You mean the websites aren’t working perfectly on day one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three twenty-four twenty-five twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine thirty thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three thirty-four thirty-five thirty-six thirty-seven thirty-eight thirty-nine forty forty-one forty-two forty-three forty-four forty-five forty-six forty-seven forty-eight forty-nine fifty fifty-one fifty-two fifty-three fifty-four fifty-five fifty-six fifty-seven fifty-eight fifty-nine sixty sixty-one sixty-two sixty-three sixty-four sixty-five sixty-six sixty-seven sixty-eight sixty-nine seventy seventy-one seventy-two seventy-three seventy-four seventy-five seventy-six seventy-seven seventy-eight seventy-nine eighty eighty-one eighty-two eighty-three eighty-four eighty-five eighty-six eighty-seven eighty-eight eighty-nine ninety ninety-one ninety-two ninety-three ninety-four ninety-five ninety-six ninety-seven ninety-eight ninety-nine one hundred one hundred one one hundred two one hundred three one hundred four one hundred five one hundred six one hundred seven one hundred eight one hundred nine one hundred ten one hundred eleven one hundred twelve one hundred thirteen one hundred fourteen one hundred fifteen one hundred sixteen one hundred seventeen one hundred eighteen one hundred nineteen one hundred twenty one hundred twenty-one one hundred twenty-two one hundred twenty-three one hundred twenty-four one hundred twenty-five one hundred twenty-six one hundred twenty-seven one hundred twenty-eight one hundred twenty-nine one hundred thirty one hundred thirty-one one hundred thirty-two one hundred thirty-three one hundred thirty-four one hundred thirty-five one hundred thirty-six one hundred thirty-seven one hundred thirty-eight one hundred thirty-nine one hundred forty one hundred forty-one one hundred forty-two one hundred forty-three one hundred forty-four one hundred forty-five one hundred forty-six one hundred forty-seven one hundred forty-eight one hundred forty-nine one hundred fifty one hundred fifty-one one hundred fifty-two one hundred fifty-three one hundred fifty-four one hundred fifty-five one hundred fifty-six one hundred fifty-seven one hundred fifty-eight one hundred fifty-nine one hundred sixty one hundred sixty-one one hundred sixty-two one hundred sixty-three one hundred sixty-four one hundred sixty-five one hundred sixty-six one hundred sixty-seven one hundred sixty-eight one hundred sixty-nine one hundred seventy one hundred seventy-one one hundred seventy-two one hundred seventy-three one hundred seventy-four one hundred seventy-five one hundred seventy-six one hundred seventy-seven one hundred seventy-eight one hundred seventy-nine one hundred eighty one hundred eighty-one one hundred eighty-two one hundred eighty-three one hundred eighty-four one hundred eighty-five one hundred eighty-six one hundred eighty-seven one hundred eighty-eight one hundred eighty-nine one hundred ninety one hundred ninety-one one hundred ninety-two one hundred ninety-three one hundred ninety-four one hundred ninety-five one hundred ninety-six one hundred ninety-seven one hundred ninety-eight
verbaluce on October 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

BTW, in spite of all claims to have signed up millions through the exchanges, they’re still, broadly speaking, not working. They’re just fixing the parts visible to everyone, and working around the broken back ends.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 16, 2014 at 12:57 PM

“After fumbling the job for more than a year, MNsure has hired an experienced IT company to coordinate the complex work needed to finish and repair its troubled health insurance exchange.”

I’ll lay you even money they hire Solyndra. Any takers??

Libertyship46 on April 16, 2014 at 12:57 PM

To all of you that live here in Minnesota: embrace the suck, change it in November…..

crosshugger on April 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM

LOL!

This state slays me.

gophergirl on April 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

I’m just about at the point where all I can do is laugh, myself.

I’ve lived in Northern MN for almost 15 years now and I still can’t figure out how the DFLers that surround me make sense of the world they’ve created.

AScott on April 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The hiring of an outside company reflects a grudging recognition that MNsure is not capable of managing the project, a concern recently voiced by its independent auditor. The state agency was created to enroll uninsured Minnesotans as part of the Affordable Care Act

But on the plus side, I’ll bet employees of the agency have top-notch union representation and benefits. Take care of the important stuff first, and the rest of the job will take care of itself, eh?

Marcola on April 16, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Has Marty Seifert changed his address to 1006 Summit Avenue, yet?

Hat Trick on April 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Dayton. Nero. Both incompetent and insane. This is the same guy who quit being a senator because of terrorist “threats.” He QUIT. So what does an incompetent and insane person do for a living? Run for another office in a Blue state. Sebelius is following suit.

RobertMN on April 16, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Totally OT: CO Abortion vote SOS

Please, pass it along!!

lineholder on April 16, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I honestly do not know how these states expected to achieve any degree of success with this. It’s basically building a prototype with variations in standards that aren’t exactly conducive to interoperability. And if they don’t have a top notch project management plan in place, it wouldn’t take long for it to jump the tracks.

Government totally reeks at succeeding in these types of projects. They go more towards cronyism than they do viable outcomes and wise investment of public funds.

lineholder on April 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM

“We” did not create Obamacare. The Democrats did, and rammed it down our throats. For one reason: POWER, totalitarian power.

tngmv on April 16, 2014 at 10:52 PM

If You think Minnesota is bad we in Oregon have a governor who spent approximately $300 million on it’s web site and never once signed up a single person on line. Seems like incompetence is common in Democrat governors.

regmgr on April 17, 2014 at 9:35 AM