Green Room

Why Colorado’s Obamacare snafu is worse than you think

posted at 11:50 am on September 27, 2013 by

Earlier in the week, AP highlighted the revelation that Washington, DC’s Obamacare exchanges won’t be ready to meet next Tuesday’s deadline.  Ed chimed in, pointing out a special irony:

 The punchline here, as Ed notes via e-mail, is that WaPo was touting the D.C. exchange for small businesses just two days ago as a model of preparedness while federal administrators were busy struggling to get their own exchanges up and running by October 1. That in itself was a joke because, as Ed explained on Monday, D.C.’s a small market where the vast, vast majority already have insurance. If any jurisdiction should be ready to roll on launch day, it’s that one. Instead, the logistics of calculating subsidies for individual enrollees are evidently so daunting that Health Link had no choice but to absorb the humiliation of announcing this postponement.

Basically, if a tiny jurisdiction that’s packed full of government bureaucrats can’t get their exchange off the ground without a hitch, just imagine the trouble other states must be in.  Then came MKH’s companion post about the state of Colorado following suit with a similar delay.  The Rocky Mountain state’s decision is actually worse than meets the eye.  Why?  For a similar reason as the WaPo/DC about-face.  Late last month, Colorado’s new state insurance commissioner made an attention-grabbing statement.  Marguerite Salazar, you see, had just left her post at HHS, where she’d been monitoring the patchwork of Obamacare exchanges taking shape across the country.  Things were a bit of a mess in certain states, she confessed, but not in Colorado:

She kept a close eye on the process in the job she just left, as regional administrator for the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). “When I was at the federal level, I would see across the country which states are in trouble,” she said, “Colorado is not one of them.”  Which states are in trouble?  “I can’t remember,” she said with a laugh.

“With a laugh.”  Yeah.  Hilarious.  Anyway, this admission is important.  Salazar had an inside look at which states were in hot water over implementation and concluded that “Colorado [was] not one of them.”  And yet, Colorado has been forced to push back the start date of its fully-operational exchange.  Remember, DC, Colorado and Oregon are the three states and districts that have ‘fessed up to their unreadiness…so far.  The former two jurisdictions have both been touted as models of efficiency within the last few weeks, and all three are governed by Democrats.  Oh, and all three are not relying on the bogged-down feds to operate their exchanges.  The scope of Tuesday’s trainwreck may be epic.  How will the Left react?  A furious tornado of denial and blame, to be sure  – but as Phil Klein points out, it’s going to be awfully hard for Democrats to pin their problems on “GOP obstructionism” in places like DC, Colorado and Oregon.

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fully-operational exchange death star.

And its first target is the U.S. Constitution.

nukemhill on September 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

It seems that Fox News is the only outfit that has been right about the exchanges and rollout all along. No wonder the whitehouse propaganda machine has turned its guns on the Ailes team. They are the only news that has not parroted Obamacare’s faux success stories.

Bensonofben on September 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

fully-operational exchange death star.

And its first target is the U.S. Constitution.

nukemhill on September 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

.
. . . . . Towards the ultimate goal, which is the dissolution of the United States.

listens2glenn on September 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM

fully-operational exchange death star.

And now, young JediTea party, you will die.

Sadly, I don’t see the GOP throwing the Democrats over a rail. We’re on our own I’m afraid.

kenro85 on September 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM

They’re bombarding Co with ObamaCare propaganda. Pretending to be a private company without mentioning the words ACA or ObamaCare. Hickenlooper, this is just another reason you need to leave office. Shame on you for shoving this crap sandwich down Co’s throat.

jawkneemusic on September 27, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Won’t matter. All the Democrats need to do is keep rocking back and forth while chanting “It’s for the children.” Apparently this is sufficient for governance these days.

JeremiahJohnson on September 27, 2013 at 1:40 PM

The exchanges will simply be reduced to 100% subsidies to anyone that has a name. That way, they can be totally fair and unbiased. And besides, the cash just goes to insurance companies who only pay medical bills.

See, no problem at all. Well, except that the insurance companies make a profit.

The next push after this will be to eliminate the insurance companies and have the federal government just pay directly.

IE: ALL of these ‘glitches’ lead DIRECTLY to SINGLE PAYER!

Freddy on September 27, 2013 at 2:24 PM

The ONLY real problem the democrats have is the totally ignored lawsuit against the IRS. I suspect the media is aware of the problem and is deliberatly censoring any reporting of this lawsuit.

The IRS decided to WRITE new TAX law via regulation. This unconstitutional act is proceeding in court. What the IRS is trying to do is to tax people that are in states that do not have a state exchange. This is specifically ILLEGAL under Obamacare, and yet the IRS has decided they will tax people WITHOUT any REPRESENTATION!

Freddy on September 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

~We are Exchange ~
~It’s for the chil-dren~
~It’s for your own good, so dump out your wal-let~
~Or you’ll stop breath-in’~

Turtle317 on September 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I just found out that like here in WI, there is at most 2 insurance companies that will be providing insurance. Most counties only have one or none at all.

LOL that will for sure drive prices down right??? RIGHT?

watertown on September 27, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Freddy on September 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I think you just answered my question I had yesterday. I could not recall why the SC ruling of it being a tax was so important.

Really this is illegal then?

watertown on September 27, 2013 at 4:44 PM

“it’s going to be awfully hard for Democrats to pin their problems on GOP obstructionism…”

Yeah. No sh*t. Amy Stephens, a Colorado state representative, started the Colorado Healthcare Exchange.

Great. Another Salazar. I’m sure she’s related to the other two Salazar douche-bags. I could only hope Wendy Davis could come up here and prune the Salazar/Udall family trees.

Horrid people.

NoPain on September 27, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Meant to include that Stephens is a RINO.

NoPain on September 27, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Comrades, ObamaCare is only a failure if we call it one! Let us instead extoll it as a partial success! Find the one man out of a hundred that ObamaCare helps, and use him as its face. Note that every “exchange in distress” has one common feature — Republicans refused to support it! Our media Fifth Column will reliably relay this information to the masses. Fear not: ObamaCare *will* succeed. By definition.

Zumkopf on September 27, 2013 at 7:06 PM

. How will the Left react? A furious tornado of denial and blame, to be sure

It’s BOOOOOSH’S fault!

arik1969 on September 27, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I think if your state has only one insurance company – or two offering insurance it is a big waste of money to even use the exchange website, because you can just sign up with the name of the insurance company that you can easily find out. The exchanges are just online marketplaces, such a lot of money spent if there is only one insurance company like here in NH, you don’t need an expensive exchange, you just say sign up with Blue Cross or sign up with Aetna…etc. They say you can apply in person or by mail or by FAX for some of these broken exchanges.

I don’t think that’s the part that is broken, the part that is broken is that the government does not have the subsidies figured out for the various states. They don’t have figured out how to tell you what your cost is because they have promised stupidly that you will only pay for the price minus the subsidy, when in the past…like people with Self Employment have deducted and got their health insurance payment paid out of pre tax dollars/any credits…after the fact on their yearly taxes. That’s the over reach, I bet.

And can you imagine, trying to set these things up with the kind of people who can barely help you at the department of motor vehicles?

Fleuries on September 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM

er….ah….ummm……a…..IT’S GEORGE BUSH’S FAULT!

Yeah, that one will fly. Especially if your a mindless Obot.

GarandFan on September 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Anybody up for a “Million Pitchfork March?”

yesiamapirate on September 29, 2013 at 12:13 AM

When it’s all over, the lack of implementation of ACA will be Bush’s fault: See how unready he left us to nationalize healthcare!

Axeman on September 29, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I don’t think that’s the part that is broken, the part that is broken is that the government does not have the subsidies figured out for the various states. They don’t have figured out how to tell you what your cost is because they have promised stupidly that you will only pay for the price minus the subsidy

Fleuries on September 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM

It’s pretty easy if the subsidy can be assumed to be $0.

Axeman on September 29, 2013 at 9:50 AM

it’s going to be awfully hard for Democrats to pin their problems on “GOP obstructionism” in places like DC, Colorado and Oregon.

HMMM not that hard and they will have their willing accomplices in the MSM helping them along. I’m sure they can find one conservative representative in each of those districts (except maybe DC…they’ll have to make one up there) to blame this on.

dirtseller on September 29, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Freddy on September 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

It’s people like you that are making the roll out of this marvelous plan by his imperial majesty impossible. You keep bring up things that are “illegal”. So what if it’s illegal? Besides, if it’s good for all us common people then it’s only slightly illegal…which is kind of like “mostly dead”…it’s partially alive…which is o.k. So just stop it.

(I’m sorry, I just thought a little infusion of the “Princess Bride” would make me feel a little better. It didn’t.)

dirtseller on September 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM

I’m sure George W. Bush and/or Karl Rove are at the bottom of the exchange launch snafus . . . that, and racist tea party members, climate change deniers, 1-percenters, corporate jet owners, fat cats, Fox News . . .
Did I miss anyone?

tpitman on September 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Which states are in trouble? “I can’t remember,” she said with a laugh.

With a laugh? Is that you, Hillary?

PatMac on September 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Single Payer Is The Goal. Never Forget This.

Bmore on September 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM