Patty Fontneau, executive director of Connect for Health Colorado
DENVER — The House on Tuesday will debate legislation mandating an audit of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange that has been plagued with problems since its debut last year to assess its strengths as well as its weaknesses.
The measure, House Bill 1257, is opposed by Patty Fontneau, the executive director of the exchange known as Connect for Health Colorado. Fontneau argues that a performance audit is unnecessary because the exchange has been repeatedly reviewed by federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service.
“One of my concerns is that we’d be audited on best practices, but I don’t know which best practices,” said Fontneau, who admitted she had met several times with the state auditor to review the scope of the audit.
The measure is sponsored by Republican Reps. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling and Dan Nordberg of Colorado Springs and would clarify language in the existing law to authorize a state audit of the exchange’s income and expenditures, evaluate the integrity of the accounting system, assess security risks to confidential health records and personal information, and evaluate hiring practices and background checks. Read more »
The GOP’s Bob Beauprez is already in the political left’s crosshairs.
Colorado lefties are in danger of losing what little credibility they have remaining with their overwrought hyperbole on the Republican gubernatorial candidates.
The latest example: ProgressNow’s hysterical screed Monday denouncing Bob Beauprez’s entrance into the race for the GOP nomination for governor as a “joke.”
“For Beauprez to enter the crowded Republican gubernatorial race now is a slap in the face of every other conservative candidate in that race–especially considering Beauprez is no more viable a contender for governor than Tom Tancredo or anyone else,” said ProgressNow executive director Amy Runyon-Harms.
It’s touching to know that Runyon-Harms is so deeply concerned about the feelings of the other Republican candidates, but we at Cheap Seats can’t help but think the lady doth protest too much–way too much.
Let’s remember that Beauprez, a former congressman, showed he can appeal to Democrats and independents by winning election twice in the evenly split 7th Congressional District before leaving to run for governor in 2006.
If Beauprez were truly a non-factor, we suspect she wouldn’t be quite so determined to tear down his candidacy before he can even issue an announcement. Read more »
Sen. Mark Udall has demanded more paper forms so Coloradans can pay taxes.
Congressional oversight of the IRS turns out to mean vastly different things to Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
House Republicans have tackled several bills to prevent the IRS from infringing on freedom of speech and targeting conservative groups for harassment.
Other bills passed by the House last week with mostly Republican support would block the revenue collection agency from asking intrusive political questions, limit audits, and prevent the agency from sharing taxpayer data.
Not to be outdone in the upper chamber, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall issued a demand on Thursday calling for the IRS to rush to the aid of his constituents in rural areas and deliver paper forms so they can pay their taxes.
“Citing the upcoming deadline for Coloradans’ to file their income tax returns, Mark Udall urged the Internal Revenue Service today to swiftly ensure it supplies rural Coloradans with ready access to paper tax forms and other essential resources,” said the statement issued by Udall’s office. Read more »
GOP gubernatorial candidates criticized Hickenlooper for leadership failures.
DENVER — Four Republican gubernatorial primary candidates heeded Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment at Sunday’s debate and took aim at Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper instead of each other.
The four contenders—state Sen. Greg Brophy, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, businessman Steve House and former state Sen. Mike Kopp—were united in blaming the governor’s lack of leadership for Colorado’s bitter political divisions.
“The fact of the matter is our state is divided like never before and John Hickenlooper has divided us,” said Kopp. “Eleven counties in this state have actually talked about seceding from Colorado. We have increased energy standards on one part of the state but not the other. These gun bills were a disaster.”
“The problem is not listening so much, the problem is his values,” Kopp said. “His values are out of sync with the rest of the state.” Read more »
Rep. Scott Tipton says government must be more accountable.
WASHINGTON – The House passed legislation Friday on a mostly party-line vote to roll back unfunded mandates on local governments and businesses by rewriting a 1995 law.
The House of Representatives approved the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2013 by a 234-to176-margin.
Voting yes in Colorado’s delegation were Republicans Scott Tipton of Cortez, Cory Gardner of Yuma, Mike Coffman of Aurora, and Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs. Voting no were Democrats Diana DeGette of Denver, Jared Polis of Boulder, and Ed Perlmutter of Golden.
Tipton, a co-founder of a pottery store in Cortez and a co-chairman of the Small Business Caucus, said the legislation is needed to make the federal government more accountable for the hidden costs it imposes with new laws.
“We’ve got to be looking at the cost-benefits of laws and who’s paying for this. People are feeling that their pocketbooks have really gotten stretched thin,” Tipton said in an interview before the vote. Read more »