Liberal congressman suddenly discovers that he would really like an ObamaCare waiver for his Colorado district
posted at 5:21 pm on October 25, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Via Watchdog.Org, if you can believe it:
One of President Obama’s most ardent liberal supporters has defected from Obamacare.
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, told a Colorado health policy think tank that Obamacare premiums will be too expensive for some of the wealthiest addresses in America – ski resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone. …
“We will be encouraging a waiver,” Polis told Health Policy Solutions in a story that ran today. “It will be difficult for Summit County residents to become insured. For the vast majority, it’s too high a price to pay.” …
Polis also wrote to Colorado’s insurance commissioner asking why an average 40-year-old mountaintop resident would have to fork over $427.80 a month while counterparts in Denver would pay $296.41 for the same plan.
More details from Health Policy Solutions:
“People take one look at the rates and they walk out the door,” said Tamara Drangstveit, executive director of the Family and Intercultural Resource Center, the group that is leading efforts in Summit County to enroll people in new plans that start on Jan. 1 through Colorado’s health exchange.
“This is hard for me to say. We had really hoped that (the marketplace) would bring down rates. Sadly, that’s not what we’re seeing. People just can’t afford it. Their incomes are already squeezed too tight,” Drangstveit said.
Rates for plans on Colorado’s new health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, are up to three times higher in resort communities from Breckenridge to Vail and Aspen than in other parts of the state. For instance, a 40-year-old buying a mid-level silver plan in Greeley could pay as little as $232 per month while that same person in the resort communities could pay as much as $667 per month.
My, my. Sounds like Rep. Polis may have been on the receiving end of some recent, irate phone calls from some of his similarly wealthy, progressive constituents (Roll Call pegs Polis’s net worth at around $68 million) fuming about sticker shock, but I have to wonder what it is that Polis — as an ObamaCare supporter — failed to grasp here. Although President Obama and his White House generally try to frame things a little more gently, plenty of Congressional Democrats are quite open about the fact that ObamaCare, at its simplest, is absolutely redistribution designed to force wealthier, healthier individuals to pay into the system in order to balance out the healthcare costs of sicker, less well-off individuals. This is not and never has been a secret. What exactly what he thinking?
What’s more, while Polis’s district is undoubtedly home to many wealthy individuals…
Drangstveit said many year-round residents in Summit County pay about 50 percent of their income for housing. Few jobs come with health insurance and overall expenses like food and gas also cost more in resort areas, leaving people with little extra cash to buy health insurance.
…there are plenty of middle- and working-income families as well. Especially if the wealthy among them decide to pay the penalty instead of getting involved in ObamaCare, it’s only going to throw the system still more off-balance and push everybody’s prices even higher.