Mark Dayton flip-flops on Obamacare fix

Dayton was for the Obamacare fix before he was against it.
Dayton was for the Obamacare fix before he was against it.

Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton said that unlike Keith Ellison, he supported President Obama's move to allow those whose health insurance plans were canceled in the wake of the Affordable Care Act to keep their policies for another year.

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But turns out Dayton spoke too soon. Yesterday, after consulting with the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Dayton said state officials won't allow people to stay on their old plans after all.

Dayton released a statement explaining his flip-flop yesterday afternoon:

When asked last Tuesday, I said that I believed people should be allowed to keep their present health insurance policies, if they so desired. I applauded the President's statement last Thursday, giving states that option.

However, I received this morning a letter from Ms. Julie Brunner, Executive Director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. The letter informed me, "The President's announcement comes too late to allow health plans and our regulator to complete filings, rate approvals and communications regarding re-enrollments in time to prevent major market disruptions for Minnesotans in the individual marketplace."

I replied, "Your letter makes clear that making the program changes offered by the President last week would be unworkable for your members and would likely cause more expensive health coverage for Minnesotans."

For those reasons, I have acceded to their request and directed Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman to continue the implementation of MNsure, as it is presently designed.

About 140,000 Minnesotans have health insurance plans that fail to meet the minimal requirements of Obamacare.

As you'd expect, the conservative Minnesota Jobs Coalition wasted no time blasting Dayton for his reversal.

"It's dizzying keeping up with Mark Dayton's position on Obamacare. After insisting he's 'all in' on bringing Obamacare to Minnesota, Dayton criticized President Obama last week for breaking his promise to let the two million plus Americans keep their insurance if they liked it," Ben Golnik, chairman of the Jobs Coalition, said in a statement. "With [yesterday's] announcement, it appears Dayton is back to his initial position of full-throated support of Obamacare."

Dayton's Obamacare flip-flop comes less than a week after he changed positions about whether the state should release serial sex offenders from custody.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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