Dayton faces reality

Gov. Mark Dayton has injected a note of reality into the Affordable Care Act debate. Ever since it was passed the act, also known as “Obamacare,” has been the rope in a political tug-of-war. Republicans have cast it as an abject failure and have tried dozens of times to repeal it, to no avail. Democrats have praised it for the good it does, providing health insurance for millions who couldn’t afford it before, and people with pre-existing medical conditions who were ineligible.

On Wednesday, in addressing the problems in the state’s private plan health insurance market, Dayton became the first Democratic governor to admit the reality. The Affordable Care Act is “no longer affordable.”

With the largest health insurance companies dropping out of the market and the smaller ones demanding 50 to 67 percent premium increases, on top of higher and higher deductibles, people who can’t get insurance through their employer or other group are risking bankruptcy if they get sick, even if they have coverage.

Dayton’s realistic assessment of the private plan healthy insurance market will be helpful as legislators and the governor work to figure out a solution to the situation. It takes some of the partisanship out of it. The sooner all agree on what the problem is, the sooner they will find a solution.