By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton made a stunning admission on Wednesday about rising health insurance costs and the future of MNsure.

“Ultimately I’m not trying to pass the buck here but the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable,” Dayton said.

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Dayton says changes to the program are critical, as he stepped away from one of his signature political platforms.

“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,” Dayton said.

Premiums for 250,000 Minnesotans, or 5 percent of the population, insured under MNsure will skyrocket by 50 percent or more on some health plans.

“The governor ate some crow today,” Larry Jacobs said.

The political analyst and professor at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs called the governor’s admission a major concession.

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“The governor has come out and said, ‘You’re right, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board,’” Jacobs said.

Republicans have long criticized the plan.

“It is a crisis situation,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said.

Daudt added this isn’t a time to place blame but instead to put politics aside.

“I think it’s a good step that the governor is now admitting that most Minnesotans can’t afford this and I think that’s a good first step to us now being able to work together to take some action to fix this so that we can find a solution that will get Minnesotans the health coverage they need at a cost they can afford,” Daudt said.

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Dayton did say there are things that can be done on the state and federal level to fix the problem. He alluded to talking more in-depth about the state’s approach early next week.

Jennifer Mayerle