Democratic Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton on Wednesday made an admission that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is getting too expensive for people in his state.
“Ultimately I’m not trying to pass the buck here but the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable,” said Dayton according to CBS Minnesota.
The law’s public exchanges, where people without employer-based coverage can go to buy a plan, have lost a large number of insurers in the past year and premium costs have soared.
Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said on October 3 the exchanges were “on the verge of collapse” after some premiums were hiked by 67% for 2017.
Dayton echoed those same sentiments on Wednesday night.
“The Affordable Care Act has many good features to it, it has achieved great success in terms of insuring more people, 20 million people across the country and providing access for people who have pre-existing conditions alike, but it’s got some serious blemishes right now and serious deficiencies,” said Dayton, according to CBS.
The exchanges in Minnesota are relatively small, only 250,000 people in the state receive their health insurance through Obamacare, but the struggles of the state underscore some national trends.
Insurers have been pulling back from the ACA exchanges as the pool of people signing up has been older and sicker than expected. With a smaller percentage of younger people signing up to offset that cost, insurers have lost money and either shrank their coverage through the exchanges or had to raise premiums.
The Obama administration hopes to offset these losses through a push to sign up more millennials and young adults during this year’s open enrollment season, which runs from November 1 through the end of January 2017.
The law has become an issue now on the campaign trail, with both presidential candidates suggesting changes to one of President Obama’s signature legislative achievements.
Whether or not those changes can save the exchanges in Minnesota remains to be seen.