Americans for Prosperity-Colorado called on Gov. John Hickenlooper Wednesday to request a comprehensive audit of the state’s health exchange after it was revealed the agency had not undergone federal audits as previously claimed.
Dustin Zvonek, the group’s state director, also criticized state Senate Democrats for derailing a bill that would have authorized the state auditor’s office to conduct financial and performance examinations to ensure the exchange would be financially self-sustainable when federal funding runs out in January.
“Taxpayers ought to be angry and alarmed by their being denied the facts about the inner workings of the state’s obviously troubled Obamacare exchange, due to possibly deceptive statements made by the head of that agency and the party-line derailing of an audit by a group of irresponsible Senate Democrats who care more about playing politics than exercising oversight,” Zvonek said.
“Shutting down the audit seems even more reckless in light of several recent media reports, which indicate possible management problems inside the agency and raise questions about the honesty of the individual in charge,” Zvonek
The Observer reported Tuesday that documents obtained from Connect for Health Colorado show the federal government had not conducted audits on the award of $177 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars since the exchange was created in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.
The documents were obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act and based on statements Executive Director Patty Fontneau made to state lawmakers that the agency had gone through several federal audits. Fontneau argued that a state audit would only duplicate those efforts.
The legislature adjourned Wednesday without taking action to require a state audit, although the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, said he would continue to pursue the action in the next session. The bill was passed in the House, but killed in a Senate committee.
“This job is just too important, and the volume of funds flowing through this agency too huge, to have someone running the show whose honesty and management skills are open to question,” Zvonek said. “As long as the Obamacare exchange is operating in Colorado, taxpayer it needs to be run by someone of unquestionable competence and integrity.”