Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sure mucked up

April Todd-Malmlov, the Chief Executive of Minnesota's state health marketplace MNSure, resigned her position yesterday in light of the exchange's difficult rollout and questions regarding an ill-timed vacation.

A few thoughts:

- Many of Ms. Todd-Malmlov's (or perhaps more accurately MNSure's) apologists argued that her not taking the two week vacation in Costa Rica in late November wouldn't have helped subside the technical issues the exchange's web site endured. After all, she's merely an administrator and not a "techie." But I would argue that a greater sense of urgency would have been felt by all MNSure employees had Todd-Malmlov canceled her already schedule trip to stay behind until enrollment issues were sufficiently addressed. When the company's established leader shows she is "all in", there really is no need for any "rah rah" speeches at that point. The message would likely have been received loud and clear.

- Serious questions of a conflict of interest also arose when it was learned Todd-Malmlov's live-in boyfriend is Jim Golden, Minnesota's Medicaid director. While MNSure denied there was a conflict of interest because Golden was not a top decision maker, a MN Dept. of Human Services internal email sent in October indicated that Golden "will continue to lead the agency's efforts to implement MNsure, which is critical to our agency's mission," and called him "instrumental" in the MNsure launch. 

My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg also asked a key question - "Now, is there a conflict of interest, here?  Knowing that if MNSure actually does crater, its clients will likely get thrown into Medicaid?   I don’t know – yet.  But I’ll find out."

- It was about 4:30 yesterday afternoon when I learned that MNSure was calling an emergency board meeting and that the purpose of the gathering was to accept the resignation of Todd-Malmlov. Upon hearing that, I took to Twitter.

I have yet to make an attempt to verify my prediction, as that would entail perusing leftist tweets. I guess I'm just not in the mood to put on a HazMat suit.

- Where credit is due: Scott Honour, one of six declared GOP candidates for MN Governor, issued a statement on Monday calling on Todd-Malmlov to resign. Within 24 hours, that very thing happened. Now I'm not suggesting that she heeded Honour's request. But Honour was the only gubernatorial candidate with the fortitude to make such a statement, and it may yet yield him some much needed energy into an otherwise lackluster campaign (he finished last in a gubernatorial straw poll at October's GOP State Central meeting).

- And finally, I'll just leave this here:


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