Colorado Majority Leader Amy Stephens(R) REJECTED ObamaCare Opt-Out in 2011

Exchanges Stephens Denied Opt-Out

But she’s up for re-election, and she has a conservative challenger.  See end of this post for more on that.  But first…

Colorado’s Republican House Majority Leader Representative Amy Stephens never sponsored an ObamaCare opt-out provision in her Democrat Colorado Health Care Exchange bill SB11-200.  

That’s a fact.

A misleading radio ad has been airing in Colorado Springs regarding the House District 19 GOP race in an effort to exalt House Majority Leader Representative Amy Stephens as a “true conservative.”  The ad, sponsored by an organization calling itself “Colorado Liberty Alliance,” states this false information about Stephens:


Sorry, that’s simply not true.  Here are the facts… 

An ObamaCare opt-out amendment was never attached to SB11-200.

In the 2011 legislative session, Stephens co-sponsored the pro-ObamaCare Democrat Health Care Exchange bill SB11-200.  Under  intense pressure and scrutiny from her voting constituents to withdraw her sponsorship from SB11-200, Stephens wrote a letter to her co-sponsor Democrat Senator Betty Boyd, and in the letter Stephens requested a “light” version of an opt-out amendment.

Boyd responded to Stephens by stating this type of amendment would be a “poison pill” to the bill.  Then the “business community” (i.e., both paid and unpaid lobbyists who stood to benefit financially from passage of the bill) prompted Stephens to back away from the amendment, and back off she did.  From the  Pueblo Chieftain:

“Stephens initially caved to the criticism by getting behind an amendment that would have required the governor to seek a waiver from the federal government to opt out of the federal health reforms.  The same Tea Party faction that labeled the federal health care overhaul ‘Obamacare’ tagged SB200 ‘Amycare,’ a reference to House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, R-Monument, who carried the legislation along with Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Westminster.  But a backlash from the business community, which overwhelmingly supported SB200, prompted Stephens to back away from the amendment, which was not attached to the bill in its finished form.”

However, there was a bonafide attempt to include a legitimate ObamaCare opt-out into her exchange bill, but Stephens opposed and rejected it.

It was from Colorado Senator Shawn Mitchell(R).  During the 2011 SB-200 legislative battle, Mitchell offered amendments, both in a Senate committee and on the Senate floor.  First, his amendments would have required the Governor to seek a waiver from the federal act (ObamaCare), which meant SB11-200’s health care exchange wouldn’t be implemented unless the waiver was granted – a true opt-out.  Second, his amendments would have refused federal money for implementation of ObamaCare’s exchange in Colorado.

Mitchell’s amendments were voted down, but can be viewed for verification at these links:

Stephens and Boyd opposed all of Mitchell’s amendments, and Stephens did not offer them in her House version of the bill.  Read the final bill here to see that it has no opt-out provision whatsoever.

Now, you have the facts.

What’s a health care exchange anyway, and why is it so bad?

Health care exchanges are simply this: State-level bureaucracies that ObamaCare must coerce into existence. Without exchanges, there is no ObamaCare implementation. With exchanges,the federal government has the hands it needs to meddle into and control the health care of every American citizen.  

It now goes without saying, that President Obama successfully coerced Stephens, a “Republican leader,” into cramming Democrat exchanges into Colorado, and thereby coerced Stephens into bringing ObamaCare into every Coloradan’s life. So much for Stephens being the Republican House Majority “leader,” whose job is to safeguard Coloradans’ freedoms from the Democrat socialist agenda.

For the facts on ObamaCare exchanges, be sure to read my 20-part series here.

If you are opposed to ObamaCare and you live in Colorado, you have opportunity to unseat Stephens.

The June primary presents Colorado GOP voters who live in House District 19 with the opportunity to revoke Representative Stephens’ law-making ability, and replace her with Representative Marsha Looper who voted against SB11-200, and who put forth SB12-53 which would have repealed the exchange in the event the Supreme Court rules ObamaCare unconstitutional.

I encourage my registered GOP readers to contact Marsha and find out more about her stand on the issues, and then vote for Marsha Looper in the June primary.  Ballots will be mailed in early June.

If you don’t reside in House District 19, but want to ensure Stephens does not retain her liberal law-making ability in Colorado, you can still help.  Share this post via email, Facebook, and Twitter to ensure HD19 voters get the facts before casting their vote.


Michelle Morin is a conservative blogger and speaker for freedom and America’s founding principles. Join her for updates here.

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