Hick Administration Lawyers Up in Udall-Obamacare Probe

January 22, 2014
By
The Hickenlooper Administration is seeking legal advice on how to respond to a request for records related to allegations that U.S. Senator Mark Udall improperly pressured state regulators

The Hickenlooper admin. is seeking legal advice on how to respond to a request for records related to the ongoing “Insurancegate” scandal

DENVER – The Hickenlooper Administration is seeking legal advice on how to respond to a request for records related to allegations that U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s office pressured state regulators to alter statistics on how many Coloradans have lost their health insurance as a result of Obamacare, according to an e-mail obtained by the Colorado Observer.

“We expected this, so let’s get with [Deputy DORA Director] Michelle [Pedersen] and we will touch base with the [Attorney General] to put together our response,” read the January 17 e-mail from Barbara Kelley, who was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to head the Department of Regulatory Agencies in 2011.

Kelley’s e-mail came in response to a request for the Hickenlooper administration to disclose records related to a panel hastily convened by the department last week to review charges of improper influence against Udall.

Last Tuesday, Kelley assured a state lawmaker that “A neutral and objective panel from the executive director’s office interviewed a number of Division of Insurance staff, collected and reviewed e-mails and other correspondence between the (division) and Sen. Udall’s staff,” before clearing the lawmaker of any wrongdoing.

Udall came under fire this month after internal e-mails surfaced suggesting that his office pressured state regulators to downsize an estimate showing that some 250,000 Coloradans had their health insurance plans cancelled.  The e-mails included complaints that Udall’s office was pushing state workers to “trash” their statistics, and revelations that state officials received calls described as “hostile” from Udall’s Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff.

But critics have not been swayed by Kelley’s assurances that the panel that “cleared” Udall’s office of wrongdoing was “neutral and objective.”  They note that neither the names of those who served on the panel, nor any records of its proceedings have been made public.

“When there are accusations that the staff of a sitting U.S. Senator pressured a state agency to make a politically advantageous move, the process by which it’s investigated should be open and transparent,” said Compass Colorado Executive Director Kelly Maher.  “Coloradans deserve better than some investigation that happens behind closed doors with no information available to the public.”

A public information officer for the Department of Regulatory Agencies told TCO in a Tuesday e-mail that administration officials have received the request for information, “and will have a formal response as soon as possible.”

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

10 Responses to Hick Administration Lawyers Up in Udall-Obamacare Probe

  1. January 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Just disclose the records. There! Done deal. No twisting, turning, whining, lying, standing on your head!!!!!!! Fess up. Have some integrity. Don’t need no stinkin formal response. Just honesty. But then, that’s a new one for this bunch!!!!!

  2. Cindy
    January 22, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I want to know what is going on behind the scenes. And the way to do it is to do request for records to see what happened and when. Obamacare and the State HC exchange here in Colorado is a disaster.

    Read the link below to what we could still have if government would be responsive and give us what we truly want: good healthcare.

    “Free Markets in Healthcare Aren’t “Broken” – Just Not Allowed to Work
Jan 21, 2014
By Elizabeth Lee Vliet

    http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/free_markets_in_healthcare_arent_broken_-_just_not_allowed_to_work/

  3. Randall Ott
    January 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    If they didn’t do anything wrong, just turn over the information. Otherwise spend thousands on secret investigations, lawyers and time that should be better spent. Why are they upping the controversy? If he was wrong, just man-up and admit it, otherwise the evidence requested will exonerate him.

  4. Rick Jason
    January 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    The Colorado State government and the Federal govt. are corrupt from top to bottom. Not to say the Repubs would do any better but they darn sure couldn’t do much worse. Under the dems we are becoming more and more like the old Soviet Union and there was a time in this nation’s history that we hated what the Soviets stood for.

  5. January 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    He’s too big of a coward to admit the truth. That’s why we call him “Chickenlooper”.

  6. Andrew Carnegie
    January 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Let me help you guys.
    The staff person who was contacted by Udall’s office was directed not to make any comment about what took place.
    A recent Hick appointee, then says there was no undue influence.
    Then Hick appointees do an investigation and guess what?
    There is not a whiff that anything improper that took place.
    How about a probe by the Attorney General?
    Can’t do that because he is a Republican who might spill the beans.

  7. Joe Oglesby
    January 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I agree with Joanb.
    Udall has said he did not pressure state regulators to falsify any numbers, so why would Governor feel the need look like he has something to hide?
    Where’s the integrity?
    And as Joanb said, “Be Honest.”

  8. Bob Simons
    January 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    This fits right in with many of the previous comments.
    Why would Udall be concerned about healthcare cancellations stemming from Obamacare in Colorado?
    – He wasn’t concerned when he didn’t read the bill.
    – He wasn’t concerned that he didn’t know what was in the bill.
    – He wasn’t even concerned that Americans opposed Obamacare by 62.5%; Udall just arranged a telephone town hall meeting where he and his staff pre-screened the attendees to insure he would only hear what he wanted to hear. Problem solved!
    The next step of jamming Obamacare down our throats was parroting the talking points. Both Obama and Udall repeated these blatant lies frequently, as did many in their party.
    – We can keep our healthcare plan if we like it!
    – We can keep our doctor if we like he or she!
    – The average family healthcare premium cost will drop by $2,500 per year!
    Udall still supports Obamacare while we Coloradan’s and American’s still oppose it….and not a single Republican Party member voted for it. WHY?
    – Maybe his allegiance is to Obama and his party instead of to us Coloradan’s and American’s.
    – Maybe it’s because Udall & staff joined Harry Reid’s “bitch session” with Obama and Obama gave Udall and his staff a 75% taxpayer paid subsidy for their healthcare insurance premium because they couldn’t afford it! (Gee, Udall only makes $174,000 + per year!!)
    - But hey, Udall and his staff are looking out for us now as we approach reelection.
    He and his staff are challenging Colorado’s Division of Insurance numbers that reported 250,000 of us Coloradan’s have received healthcare insurance cancellations due to Obamacare. After that challenge, upon further review, that number was increased to 335,000 cancellations.

    So what do we do with Udall come 11/2014? My thoughts revolve around integrity and honesty, the foundation and basis for trust in all human relationships. Unlike your life or your property, it can’t be taken away from you; by anyone. In order to lose it, you must choose to give it away. Udall, like Obama, has consciously sacrificed his integrity and honesty by placing himself and his party’s agenda ahead of Coloradan’s and American’s. It is clear that we cannot trust Udall so, “FIRE THE LIAR in 2014”. Put politicians in office who put Coloradan’s and American’s ahead of themselves & their party.

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