Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, one of five Democrats running for governor in next year's election, on Tuesday proposed allowing residents to purchase health insurance through Colorado's Medicaid program or the state employee health plan in an effort to boost coverage while cutting costs.
National and Colorado Republicans and their conservative allies piled on U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter after the Arvada Democrat announced Monday he's changed his mind and plans to seek reelection in the 7th Congressional District, although the GOP doesn't appear to have a candidate ready to challenge the six-term incumbent for the suburban seat.
After weeks of publicly considering whether to run in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District next year, Democrat Levi Tillemann told Colorado Politics on Tuesday that he plans to announce on July 9 that he’s campaigning for the seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman.
Actually, the pro-GOP advocacy group Compass Colorado used even stronger language in a shot at Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper this week over his proposed use of carrot and stick on insurers to keep the state’s health insurance exchange viable. The governor himself put a more pragmatic spin on it.
At issue is the governor’s acknowledgment Wednesday on Colorado Public Radio’s Colorado Matters that he might cut Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield out of lucrative Medicaid contracts administered by the state if the insurance giant exits the state’s health insurance exchange, set up under Obamacare. It’s one option under consideration and is similar to a plan announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
“We’ve certainly talked about that,” Hickenlooper said, “… as a way to try to provide motivation that more insurers cover all parts of the state — or at least a number of parts of the state.”
That prompted a press statement from Compass Executive Director Kelly Maher:
“Apparently, mob-style blackmail tactics are an acceptable way to conduct business if you’re the Governor. … Demanding a private company bail out the state health exchange, or face the consequences financially, is like government meets The Godfather.”
Like its counterparts in other states, Colorado’s health insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, was established under Obamacare to let individuals and small businesses compare available health plans, select the coverage that best suits them and, if they qualify, receive subsidies to help pay their premiums.
Colorado’s exchange has been the subject of endless partisan debate, much like Obamacare nationally; it also has experienced assorted woes since its inception.
A local conservative organization is charging that Democrat Levi Tillemann is only pretending to be weighing a bid for Congress and has demanded the Aurora resident make his campaign official. But the former Obama administration official insists he’s staying “well within the boundaries” of federal election law and plans to decide soon whether or not to join an already crowded primary field for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in next year’s election.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann on Monday cancelled a tour of the Denver Police Crime Lab scheduled later this week for members of a fundraising group tied to the Denver Democratic Party after a conservative organization raised a fuss.
A bipartisan organization that encourages veterans to run for office demanded an apology Tuesday for comments made by a national Republican campaign group about combat veteran Jason Crow’s announcement that he’s challenging U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, also a combat veteran, in next year’s election.