Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) on Wednesday became the first Democratic governor in the country, according to the Associated Press, to admit that ObamaCare isn’t working. “The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people,” Dayton said at an event where he address concerns over Minnesota’s health insurance exchange. The exchange nearly collapsed earlier this year and consumers in Minnesota are facing massive premium increases this year.
Dayton was held up by some liberals, particularly in neighboring Wisconsin, as a model governor for his full embrace and implementation of ObamaCare, including the establishment of a state exchange, MNSure, and a Medicaid expansion funded by ObamaCare.
The Minnesota governor didn’t blame his state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act for recent woes, instead laying the blame at the feet of the Obama Administration and a Congress that rushed to enact the landmark regulatory expansion in 2009. “It’s got some serious blemishes right now and serious deficiencies,” he said.
Another prominent Democrat who recently criticized ObamaCare is former President Bill Clinton, who told a Michigan audience last week that President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform is “the craziest thing in the world.” Clinton cited rising premium costs as evidence of ObamaCare not working as planned.
“So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.”
Rising premiums and insurers fleeing the online marketplace at HealthCare.gov and state-funded exchanges have defined the health insurance landscape over the past couple of years. In Wisconsin, for example, state regulators have announced that health insurance premiums are going up an average of 15.88%. Some plans will see premiums rise 30.37% and several large insurance companies have stopped offering plans on via the ObamaCare exchange in Wisconsin.
Minnesota faced a dire crisis earlier this year when insurers that offered plans via MNSure threatened to pull out of the marketplace if they weren’t allowed to raise rates to cover the cost of the plans.
Under ObamaCare, insurance premiums in Wisconsin and Minnesota have increased far faster than the rate of inflation for medical service costs.
ObamaCare’s failure to control costs thrusts the matter back into the spotlight for the 2016 election, a time when Republicans who won Senate seats in 2010 based in no small part on public backlash over ObamaCare are trying to defend those gains.