Hick Administration Stonewalls on Records Related to Obamacare-Udall Scandal “Panel”

January 24, 2014
By
Hickenlooper Administration officials on Thursday refused to provide any information about the “neutral and objective panel” that they claim was convened to investigate the "Insurancegate" scandal

Hickenlooper Admin. officials refused Thursday to provide any information about the “panel” they convened to investigate the “Insurancegate” scandal

DENVER – Hickenlooper Administration officials on Thursday refused to provide — or could not provide — any information about the “neutral and objective panel” that they claim to have convened to investigate allegations that U.S. Senator Mark Udall improperly pressured state regulators to alter statistics on how many Coloradans have lost their health insurance as a result of Obamacare.

The request, submitted by the Colorado Observer last week pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act, sought the names and job titles of those persons who served on the panel, who appointed them to the panel, along with any agendas, minutes and transcripts or recordings of panel meetings.

In response, the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) provided a 15-page packet of previously disclosed e-mails, but no information about the “panel” itself, its membership, or any of its activities or proceedings.

Department of Regulatory Affairs Executive Director Barbara Kelley told a state lawmaker on January 14 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 exonerating Udall of any wrongdoing.

When The Observer requested records related to the panel last Friday, Kelley sought legal advice before crafting a reply, according to a January 17 e-mail.

“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 e-mail from Kelley to Pedersen.

Kelley was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to head DORA in 2011.

Udall has faced criticism in recent weeks after internal e-mails became public suggesting that his office pressured regulators to change their estimate that 250,000 Coloradans had their health insurance plans cancelled because of Obamacare.  The e-mails included complaints from Division of Insurance workers that Udall’s staff pressed them to “trash” their statistics, and reports of “hostile” phone calls from Udall’s office to division personnel.

As of Friday morning, a DORA spokesman had not responded to a follow up request for records related to the existence of the panel.

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

11 Responses to Hick Administration Stonewalls on Records Related to Obamacare-Udall Scandal “Panel”

  1. Andrew Carnegie
    January 24, 2014 at 9:22 am

    The end, apparently keeping a Democratic Senator who helped pass a disastrous healthcare bill, in office, justifies the means, not telling the truth.
    It looks like Obama has helped federalize the Chicago style of politics. That is too bad.
    Only one way to solve the problem. It happens in November.

  2. Shredder
    January 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Welcome to the real world.

  3. Tom Velayas
    January 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Barbara Kelly has a history of harassing her employees and making sure that they say what she wants them to say. The deputy director Michelle Peterson is the same way they should all be fired and removed from office
    What a disgrace Dora!

  4. Bob Terry
    January 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Typical CYA liberal politics…We’ll disclose what we want to disclose and what “we” think you should know.. Hickenlooper and on down including DORA, are all in co hoots.
    Sad commentary..This is ugly Government at its finest…Like it was said the country won’t fall by invasion…it will disintegrate from within…
    So remember that at the ballot box while choking on the Liberal bile..

  5. MrInsight
    January 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Barbara Kelley has a history of harassing and intimidating her staff. She is a bully and is now playing damage control. Three commissioners have left Dora in the last 8 months – you can read between the lines on that one. I hope this paper follows up on this issue . Kelley needs yo be investigated and fired. We need a super hero to solve this case of dishonesty! The deputy director needs to go too. The joke in the office is that the call Kelley the contrarian because she contradicts all of her staffs recommendations. Shame on you Dora!

  6. Colorado Patriot
    January 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Take some time to investigate the actions of DORA over the past 5 years and you will find there is nothing “neutral and objective” about this agency. Hiding behind the cloak of “administrative law” DORA is the agency of Colorado government tasked with extracting tribute from professionals and businesses requiring licensing to operate in Colorado. Their tactics never see the light of day and they operate with ZERO over site from the legislature as they have ingratiated themselves to individual legislators who lack the desire to adequately supervise this renegade agency. DORA as a whole begs exposure to the light of day. It won’t happen with this legislature and administration.

  7. In Exile
    January 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    These people, and their traitorous behavior is why I’ve been in exile from home since 2009. My 4 sons in their 20′s who were born, and raised in Denver took off to work & live elsewhere, too. The disintegration of Colorado by the politicians is sad & pathetic. Damn shame it is. The Colorado I knew changed when outsiders like Hickenlooper, Ferrandino,and their ilk began moving in taking financial & political control of Denver. They then moved in on the Metro-Area, and eventually the State of Colorado. Coloradans take back the State in November 2014 & future elections. Boot out of office & the State.

  8. Bob Simons
    January 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Sounds like my thoughts are like the rest of yours.

    Why would Udall be concerned about healthcare cancellations stemming from Obamacare in Colorado?
    – He wasn’t at all concerned that he didn’t read this enormously important bill.
    – He wasn’t at all concerned that he didn’t know what was in the bill.
    – He wasn’t even concerned that Americans opposed it (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 toward 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 him or her!
    – 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 Udall’s 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 wishes. 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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