Senate Republicans Push for More Data on ‘Insurancegate’

January 22, 2014
By
Sen. Mark Udall was cleared by state officials last week of intimidation charges, but it turns out "Insurancegate" isn’t over just yet

State officials may have cleared Sen. Udall of intimidation charges last week, but it turns out “Insurancegate” isn’t over just yet

DENVER—Sen. Mark Udall was cleared by state officials last week of using intimidation to skew Colorado’s insurance-cancellation figures, but it turns out Insurancegate isn’t over just yet.

Colorado Senate Republicans sent a letter Wednesday asking state Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar for more details on the cancelled insurance policies stemming from the Affordable Care Act.

First on the list is an updated number of how many individual policies have been cancelled due to Obamacare, as well as how many employer plans have been cancelled.

The state insurance division reported in November that nearly 250,000 individual policies had been cancelled, a number that was frequently repeated until last week, when Rep. Cory Gardner, Colorado Republican, received a letter from Salazar’s office saying that the number is now over 335,000.

“Senate Republicans find it extremely troubling that 85,000 additional Coloradans have had their insurance policies cancelled due to Obamacare in just over two months,” said the letter, signed by all 17 Republican state senators.

The letter also requests a geographic breakdown of policy cancellations by county “to better illustrate which parts of the state have been impacted the most by cancellations,” as well as a price differential between the old policies and proposed replacement policies.

Udall aides had pressed Salazar’s office to reconfigure the cancellation figures by including the number of policy renewals offered to those whose policies were struck, according to emails obtained and released two weeks ago by Complete Colorado.

Critics argue that the renewal options are inevitably more expensive than the cancelled policies, due to the increased benefits mandated under Obamacare.

The Senate Republicans also asked the insurance division to release data on a monthly basis showing the number of individual and employer-based insurance cancellations.

“Unemployment data is reported on a monthly basis and a similar reporting system for policy cancellations would greatly benefit the citizens of Colorado,” said a statement by the Colorado Senate Republicans.

At a Jan. 14 legislative hearing, Salazar brushed off the aggressive emails from Udall’s office, saying such exchanges are not uncommon. An email from one state insurance regulator accused Udall’s staff of trying to “trash our numbers.”

The same day, the state Department of Regulatory Agencies rejected a request for an investigation filed by state Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Monument), saying that there was “no information to support an allegation of real (or perceived) intimidation.”

Republicans accused the agency heads of covering up for Udall, noting that they are appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. Both the governor and Udall are Democrats.

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

6 Responses to Senate Republicans Push for More Data on ‘Insurancegate’

  1. Andrew Carnegie
    January 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Cancellations, what cancellations?
    Don’t you know that the Democratic appointed insurance commissioner has reported that 90 some percent of the 335,000 people whose insurance policies were cancelled were offered replacements?
    The replacement policies cover things the other policy didn’t. The replacement policies have different deductibles and different doctors and cost more money, but hey, they were offered replacements.
    So what is everybody complaining about?

  2. Bob Terry
    January 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Of course there were no violations…The democrat appointed commissioner made sure of that ..Mark can’t be made to look bad..period…and You’ll get reassigned insurance as we see fit, and its better too !! and more expensive …and so what what doctors?, yours is probably a phony…More is Less…we said so… Vote this Goofball out of office…and keep his/her ilk out as well…Up to you? or do you want to be regulated and taxed out of your households… My son’s insurance…didn’t fit the bill for a Colorado credited institution, because he pays too much for good coverage…we need the Colleges now involved in this horseshit..so he can lose this and pay for government crap…kickback think so.They are making him by the “college” insurance….I’d say FU..but he needs the credentials …this is where this is headed…Government…Government telling you you will you will buy and STFU !! Think about it really THINK!!!!

  3. Bob Simons
    January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    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.

  4. Bob Simons
    January 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    The Colorado Springs Gazette, has not published my comments (as follows) after 6-8 attepmts. Does that tell you something?

    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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