Friday, August 16, 2013

MNsure: Locked doors and names

This past week I visited the offices of MNsure, Minnesota's new health exchange program.  They are located in a newly renovated building in downtown St Paul.  There was no sign yet stating that MNsure was there, but I had help in locating it by people being trained to be possible navigators or something like that in another building.

I went to the building where MNsure was in, but low and behold the door is locked.  No sign stating how I can get in contact with them, zero, zip info.  I knocked on the window for someone to let me in so I could go to a public agency of the state to ask a question or two and to see the status of my data practices request.  To no avail, people looked at me through the window, but I did not have my Sunday dress on so I was ignored.

All of a sudden a person entered the door with his special pass key and let himself in.  I followed indicating I want to go to MNsure.  He stated it was on third floor.

The elevator door opens and I proceed to the MNsure office.  Do not remember for sure, but I believe that door was locked too.  Anyway I got through the door.  I introduced myself, stating I would like to speak with either their General Counsel or Data Practices person.

As I was waiting to see if they would be able to talk with me I noticed three conference rooms in MNsure's reception area, large rooms with temporary paper sheets posted near the doorways.

Each room from left to right was named Atkins, Lourey, and Dayton.  When I saw this I was flabbergasted because I have not seen conference rooms in government agencies named after living and still serving public officials.  I thought it was just downright cornball and trite.

I have no problem with Representative Atkins, Senator Lourey, and Governor Dayton I have worked with them all and I regard them highly, but naming a room after them while they are still living or still in office, come on.

I decided to communicate with someone at MNsure about this.  I stated that naming the conference rooms after living elected officials is hokey.  The person then asked what names I would suggest.  I suggested two names immediately, former Minnesota elected officials Arne Carlson and Linda Berglin.  These two people worked together on health care, Ms. Berglin (DFL) and Mr. Carlson (GOP) in the early nineties on MNCARE.

I was told by the MNsure staff person, good suggestions, but the names of Atkins, Lourey, and Dayton will remain.

I do not believe in naming anything for people who are living and a current elected official.  Do not know if MNsure will get nice name plaques on the doors, but if they do it's like putting a campaign sign out there as long as they are current living elected officials.

But wait if they keep their doors locked like a fortress and access for the public is nil no one may ever see the signs.

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