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Response to being called a liar

To the editor:

Having been accused by Allison O’Toole, MNsure interim CEO, and Adrian Ledermann of inaccuracies and misinformation in my letter to the editor, I must respond.

I agree that premium increases are set by insurance companies. What I find troubling is Ms. O’Toole’s assertion that those increases are not due to Obamacare mandates and the MNsure tax. The pre-existing condition, maternity, and gender reassignment surgery coverages, to name a few, are mandates under Obamacare and add unnecessary coverage/costs for those consumers who were not required to have, nor did they need, that coverage prior to Obamacare. There is a MNsure tax (or fee, what’s the difference) of 3.5 percent on insurance premiums, which is passed on to customers. So Ms. O’Toole’s statement in regard to increased costs is misleading, to say the least.

I will stand by my assertion that Congress has investigated MNsure. I have in my possession a notice from the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations announcing a hearing on September 29, 2015, entitled “An overdue Checkup: Examining the ACA’s State Insurance Marketplaces.” Ms. O’Toole was one of six state executive directors/CEOs asked to appear.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Inspector General, alerted the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services that “these faltering state exchanges may be using establishment grants to help cover operational costs.” The purpose of the hearing was to examine how federal establishment grant dollars were spent. I have a copy of Ms. O’Toole’s opening remarks. This information can be found on the subcommittee’s website.

My information is the result of research I did for my original letter and this one. My disagreement with MNsure and Obamacare is quite well known. Just because I disagree with someone does not make me a liar.

Hilda Bettermann

Brandon, MN