Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 12, 20179min319


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 9, 20174min359
iStock image / zimmytws

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.

Earlier this year, federal auditors found the exchange had misspent or failed to account for some $9.7 million in grants used to set up the program. Of greater concern, though, has been the exodus of insurers like Anthem from the exchange because they are losing money, as well as soaring premiums for individual health plans acquired through the exchange.

According to the CPR report, if Anthem drops out of the exchange, Coloradans in 14 counties would be unable to use the exchange to help them buy health coverage.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 30, 20177min1043

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.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 20, 20175min234

…and that’s on the assumption dozens of smart alecks haven’t already beaten us to the, um, punch:


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 10, 201711min1029

In the halls of the Colorado Capitol and across social media, Republican elected officials got creative this week coming up with ways to declare a long-awaited bipartisan transportation-funding package dead on arrival. “If it was a trial balloon, it has more of a resemblance to the Hindenburg,” state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, told The Colorado Statesman outside Senate chambers.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 9, 201720min782

Conservative gadfly Matt Arnold, a persistent thorn in the side of lots of Colorado Republicans, dug in a little deeper this week. In response to a complaint filed by Arnold’s Campaign Integrity Watchdog organization, the El Paso County GOP admitted in court Tuesday that it made some mistakes in campaign finance filings last year and agreed to pay nominal fines. It’s the most recent win notched by Arnold’s organization but, according to some of his detractors, it’s also a salvo in the battle for control of the state Republican Party, a contention Arnold vehemently denies.