Colo. Senator pressures state to change its health policy cancellation numbers

Colo. Senator pressures state to change its health policy cancellation numbers
Sen. Mark Udall estimates his chances of re-election this fall. (Credit: electricfeast.com)

Democratic Congress members fighting for their political lives are finding all kinds of interesting ways to avoid the painful reality of the Obamacare albatross their fearless leader has hung around their necks. When Rep. Luis Gutierrez was asked questions about the President’s lawless habit of changing parts of the health care law without congressional authorization, he stuffed his fingers in his ears and sang to himself.

The escape plan for Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is making believe the negative numbers emanating from his own state Department of Insurance are not as bad as they seem. Rather than work to fix Obama’s healthcare bill like other Democrats, Udall has pressured the agency to change the way it estimates health policy cancellations of residents due to Obamacare.

Udall asked the department to downgrade its estimate of Obamacare-related insurance cancellations from 250,000 to just 73,000. His sole justification is that some Colorado residents were offered replacement plans. Whether they liked the plans or not seems to matter not at all to Udall.

Udall is broad brushing and assuming that because Anthem and Kaiser offered early renewals, the people who received that option after receiving a cellation [sic] notice should not be counted. Commissioner [John] Salazar would like to tell Sen. Udall that 250,000 people were in fact affected by cancellation notices,” insurance department director of external affairs Jo Donlin wrote in November, according the emails.

Emails originally obtained by CompleteColorado.com in January created controversy for the Senator and his vote for President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In one of those emails, Donlin said Udall’s office was trying to “trash” the cancellation numbers as tallied by the DOI. In another email, Donlin complained that she received a “very hostile” call from Udall’s deputy chief of staff after she had informed the Senator’s office that the DOI was unlikely to change or modify their calculation of 250,000 policy cancellations in 2013.

Udall’s office did eventually issue their own press release, which netted them a significant story in the Denver Post. In another email, Donlin sent a link of the online Denver Post story to her colleagues, pointing out that the story quoted “Sen. Udall staff,” which seems to highlight that the story did not name an individual directly. Furthermore, Donlin said the online comments were “interesting.” Many of those online comments were critical of both Udall and the Post‘s story. For example, commenter dwschulze said, “So a Democrat who supported Obamacare says that most of the cancelled policies aren’t really cancelled. And you support that with a statement from another Obamacare supporter. You need to provide some independent verification of Udall’s statement for it to be anything but another dubious statement about Obamacare

You can’t really blame Senator Udall. He is just one of a number of D.C. politicians desperately trying to paint lipstick on the failed pig of the President’s signature program. He is just another pawn who is finding out the hard truth of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s prediction that you have to “pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” What’s in it is a hornet’s nest of epic proportions.


Jeff Dunetz

Jeff Dunetz

Jeff Dunetz is editor and publisher of the The Lid, and a weekly political columnist for the Jewish Star and TruthRevolt. He has also contributed to Breitbart.com, HotAir, and PJ Media’s Tattler.

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