MNsure board member: ‘This isn’t working’

Finding critics of MNsure, the state health exchange, isn’t hard. But when Tom Forsythe says it’s time to bury the current version of the troubled operation, he commands some attention; he’s on the MNsure board of directors.

Forsythe, a General Mills executive, relieves the board of any responsibility for the disastrous planning and execution of the exchange — a disaster that was highlighted recently by a report from the legislative auditor — saying the problems occurred before the board was appointed.

He asserted in an op-ed in today’s Star Tribune that the Legislature is looking for a scapegoat via a bill that makes MNsure a state agency.

“That flawed vision? That was the Legislature’s. That disastrous IT strategy? That came in the two-plus years when MNsure was acting as a state agency, as the legislative auditor’s report lays bare,” he writes.

He called for a “divorce” from the Department of Human Services.

We need to live our separate lives. MNsure needs to date someone other than DHS. There are many successful exchanges. There are private-sector solutions that do comparative shopping better. Going our separate ways could be cheaper for both of us. And the DHS will be fine. Remember, we have $89 million to get us both on our feet. We should be able to make do.

But let’s be honest. This isn’t working. The vision was flawed. The strategy was terrible. It’s time for change.

Eliminate the board if you like. But what’s needed is a shift in strategy — not another state agency.

That’s the kind of thinking that got us into this mess.

Related: Bill to make MNsure a state agency sparks criticism (Minnesota Public Radio News).

Archive: Political reality: DFLers own a MNsure program that fails (NewsCut)

Related: Transcript: Supreme Court arguments in Obamacare case (Washington Post).