Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Hann stretched the truth a bit Monday as Republicans prepared to fly around the state to rev up their campaign to win back the House from the Democrats (DFL).
The focus of Hann and other Republicans’ campaigns is MNsure, Minnesota’s version of Obamacare. “Everyone knows that this health care system that was put in place last year hasn’t really worked out that well,” Hann told the Capitol press.
“We’ve seen increased pressure in the private markets for growing premiums, and to date we do not know of any instance where someone who wasn’t insured before is now insured.”
Hann’s claim — “We do not know of any instance” — does not hold up to scrutiny.
Out of 169,000 people who signed up through MNsure, not a single one had gone from uninsured to insured? That claim seemed unlikely and, as it turned out, was fairly easy to disprove.
MNsure Director of Communications Marketing Joe Campbell says Hann’s claim of the state not knowing of “any instance” is wrong. A quick check of the MNsure site found several documented cases of uninsured people now finding insurance under MNsure.
Campbell says he believes the broader point Hann was trying to make is they don’t have an exact number of how many previously uninsured are now insured under MNsure. Campbell says MNsure is working with the University of Minnesota to determine that number. But Campbell says there are people who were previously uninsured who are now insured, thanks to MNsure.
No reply, just tweets
The UpTake contacted Hann’s office asking if the senator actually meant there wasn’t “any instance” of uninsured people finding insurance, or if he meant he was still waiting for MNsure to produce those numbers. Hann did not return our calls; however, Minnesota State Republican Committee Director of Public Affairs Bill Walsh did reply with a tweet saying, “Let us know when MNSure releases a report or produces one person who is now insured due to Obamacare. Until then…”
When several other people tweeted that they or someone they knew had gone from uninsured to insured with MNsure’s help, Walsh tweeted “So there are 4 people now covered due to MNSure (taking PattiRae at her word)? $160 million ROI.” “PattieRae” is Patti Rai Rudolph, who used to work as a journalist for Minnesota Public Radio and replied to the tweet about Hann’s statement.
At top: Video of Senator Hann’s statement about MNsure.
Below: Video of entire news conference.