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Pat Kessler eviscerates MNsure, says officials lied to him

Kessler (right) has nothing good to say about Todd-Malmlov's stewardship of MNsure.
Kessler (right) has nothing good to say about Todd-Malmlov's stewardship of MNsure.

During his regular appearance on Dan Barreiro's KFAN radio show yesterday, WCCO political reporter Pat Kessler shed some light on reasons for former MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov's sudden resignation that go beyond her controversial late-November tropical vacation.

Asked when 'CCO became aware of some of the problems plaguing the state health exchange's website, Kessler said his efforts to figure out what was going on at MNsure were complicated by the fact that officials "lied to us."

THE BACKSTORY: MNSure director criticized for taking two-week tropical vacation amid enrollment problems

"I believe that this is one of the most closed, obtuse, misdirecting, camouflaging agencies I've ever dealt with," Kessler concluded. "Jibberish is what I got from them."

Here's a transcript of Kessler's rant (you can listen to the audio here -- fast-forward to roughly the 35:00 mark):

These problems began to mount, and they multiplied, they escalated in late November [Kessler later said that as late as December 6, he was told by MNsure officials that there were no big problems with the health exchange website.]

There were minor glitches, there were technical issues, things that people were having trouble with, and then they were getting resolved. I would call people, I was contacted all the time by people -- [they said] it was being resolved.

Suddenly -- and it was very odd to me -- suddenly around December 1, 2, 3, right around that time, after Thanksgiving, we, suddenly at WCCO, were inundated, flooded, with literally hundreds of people calling to say, 'I can't get on [the website], this is crazy.'

And here's where the disconnect is for me -- so we go to MNsure, and I'll just say it, I think they lied to us. I think that they misled us, they misdirected, they camouflaged, they said 'No, there's no problems, no, there's no problems,' when in fact, behind the scenes, they were sweating bullets because they couldn't fix the problems.

So I think there is a dividing line. There were problems that we saw, problems that we think were fixed... I believe that this is one of the most closed, obtuse, misdirecting, camouflaging agencies I have ever dealt with, and its remarkable. Jibberish is what I got from them.

We imagine remarks like that might get Governor Dayton wondering -- where's that liberal media bias when you need it?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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