Some facts behind the Downey/Dean Dustup

With 2018 gubernatorial hopefuls Keith Downey and Matt Dean getting ready for their duel, which I hope takes the form of a cage match, I thought it might be helpful to understand some of the facts related to MNSure, reinsurance, etc.

In Downey’s first shot at Dean, he gets the history correct, mostly.

Dean voted for HF5, the reinsurance bill, both in committee and on the floor of the house. That bill passed 78–53, with all Republicans except two voting for it.

The Senate passed the bill with an amendment, 37–29, and the bill went to conference.

Dean was on the conference committee for the bill, and then voted against the bill in its final form when it returned to the house floor. The bill passed 74–57, with Dean joining the other two Republicans who voted against it the first time in voting against it.

So Downey does have a point with his claim that Dean is pulling the ol’ I voted for it before I voted against it shtick.

Downey’s claim that Dean had an opportunity to kill MNSure, however, was laughably wrong, as Dean points out in his first reply to Downey, stating:

MNSure is not reinsurance, and it doesn’t have anything to do with killing, or not killing MNSure. Stating that MNSure would be eliminated without this program is either embarrassingly ill-informed or telling an outright lie.

What’s interesting in all of this is that as I mentioned above, this bill passed with overwhelming Republican support. Almost every Republican in the legislature voted for it, including some prominent Dean supporters. (I’m unaware of any prominent or non-prominent Downey supporters in the legislature.)

And the bill was widely acknowledged to have stabilized rates and provided relief to individuals in the health care market, as acknowledged by both the head of MNSure and the Center of the American Experiment, two entities that are very much on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

So what you really have here are two candidates for governor who are fighting about who more hates the program that nearly all of their peers supported, that provided significant relief to thousands of Minnesotan families, and that stabilized an out of control health insurance market.

May the best man win, or something.

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