Dayton Blames MNSure Issues on Robocallers

The MNSure website and call center as well as seventy state websites experienced outages today; Governor Dayton blames "people who want it to work as badly as possible."

Minnesota Gov.Mark Dayton, left, and House Speaker Kurt Daudt brief reporters Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, about a potential special legislative session to deal with health insurance rates. Behind them are Commissioner Myron Frans of Minnesota Management and Budget, left, and Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. ~ via (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

SAINT PAUL, MN November 1, 2016  The first day of MNSure enrollment was marred by issues – long wait times and people being unable to log onto the system caused headaches for many today.  

In a statement to the press, Governor Dayton claimed that the problems stemmed from a sinister source, stating someone was “trying to jam the call center” by overloading the hotline with robocalls.  He went on to say, “We’re doing our best to make it work as well as possible. Unfortunately there’s some people out there who want it to work as badly as possible.”

However, the Pioneer Press is reporting that the MNSure website and call center weren’t the only state websites having issues:

Meanwhile, Minnesota IT Services, which runs MNsure’s website as well as those of other state agencies, reported that 70 state websites “began experiencing intermittent outages” Tuesday morning. The MN.IT statement didn’t allege a deliberate denial-of-service attack similar to the one that took down major U.S. websites last month, but said it was investigating the cause of the outages.

According to the Pioneer Press, HealthPartners also experienced problems this morning, but Catherine Scott, HealthPartners spokeswoman, told the Pioneer Press in an email the issues were caused by an “An unprecedented number of calls and website visits. We took steps to manage the incoming traffic, and by midday our systems were back to normal.”

MNSure has been plagued with issues from the beginning, starting with the hefty $58 million price-tag to build and operate the site in 2013 to the recent reports of skyrocketing premiums in 2017.

Last week, Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) threatened to call for Governor Dayton’s resignation over what he called “the full-blown crisis” of the state’s health care system:  “If I find out (state officials) aren’t working 24/7 to find a solution to help these people get health insurance on January 1, I’m going to call for Dayton’s resignation myself, personally,” during a news conference on October 26, 2016.

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle is a former writer for Alpha News.