October 16, 2015

Colorado Insurance Exchange Bennet Helped Create Is Crumbling

Sen. Michael Bennet’s steadfast support for Obamacare is coming back to haunt him at the worst possible time – during his reelection campaign. Already facing low approval ratings, Bennet’s stock is likely to fall further following the news that the biggest health insurer on Colorado’s state exchange has failed, leaving over 80,000 citizens without coverage. The Associated Press reported:

Colorado’s biggest nonprofit health insurer announced its closure Friday, forcing nearly 83,000 Coloradans to find a new insurer for 2016.

Colorado HealthOP announced Friday that the state Division of Insurance has de-certified it as an eligible insurance company. That’s because the cooperative relied on federal support, and federal authorities announced last month they wouldn’t be able to pay most of what they owed in a program designed to help health insurance co-ops get established.

Bennet has been silent on the co-ops’ failure, likely because he hopes voters will forget that he helped create it by voting for the Affordable Care Act. Back in 2009, he touted his Obamacare vote, promising it would expand coverage without increasing the deficit:

“Today I voted for a health care reform bill that will bring meaningful change to Coloradans. Reform that provides coverage to 840,000 uninsured Coloradans, extends and protects Medicare for our seniors and provides free preventive care for everyone. Reform that provides tax cuts to small businesses and eliminates exclusions based on pre-existing conditions. And, as promised, I voted for health care reform that doesn’t add a dime to the deficit.”

Bennet even offered specific praise for Colorado HealthOP, calling the now-failed insurer “a unique, consumer-driven solution.”

Six years, one failed website, massive shortfalls in enrollment, a crumbling state exchange system, tens of millions of dollars in wasted taxpayer funds, and tens of thousands of Coloradans losing coverage later, Bennet likely won’t make his backing of the Obamacare boondoggle a top talking point in his campaign.

Or, as he did with his past support of transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the U.S., he’ll just change his position and pretend his record doesn’t exist.