A MAJOR UPDATE TO THIS POST HAS BEEN ADDED, SEE RED STANDOUTS BELOW.
This is Part 11 in my series about ObamaCare health care exchanges. Be sure to read the entire series here, but especially read Part 10 to understand the phony offer President Obama has made to states.
Health care exchanges are simply this: State-level bureaucracies that ObamaCare must coerce into existence. Without them, there is no ObamaCare implementation. Without them, the federal government hasn’t the hands it needs to meddle into and control the health care of every American citizen.
Colorado State Representative Amy Stephens(R) Writes an ObamaCare Exchange Bill – With a Democrat
As I write this post, exchanges are on the table in Colorado’s state legislature. They will be voted on within days. Check out Colorado SB 11-200 here. This is a bill being co-sponsored by Colorado State House Representative Majority Leader Amy Stephens(R) and Colorado State Senator Betty Boyd(D). The purpose of the bill is “creating a process for the implementation of a health benefit exchange in Colorado.”
Two Weeks Ago Representative Stephens Seemed to Understand the ObamaCare Threat
Almost two weeks ago, Representative Stephens heard much protest against exchanges and wrote an amendment that seemed to indicate she understood the overall problem with her bill: that it opens the door for ObamaCare in Colorado. Regarding her amendment, here’s what she wrote in a letter to her bill’s co-sponsor Senator Boyd:
“Many of my constituents and a few of my colleagues have told me that, while exchanges are themselves sensible public policy, the potential linkage of this legislation to Obamacare is far more damaging than whatever benefit is derived from the bill. Some have worried that, even though the exchanges created in my bill are totally independent of Obamacare, that future legislators or Governors (or even the federal government) could hijack this local control measure to implement Obamacare.”
Here’s the amendment she has put forth:
“The provisions of SB 200 shall not be implemented, nor shall they have force or effect, until the State of Colorado requests, and the federal government grants, a full waiver from all terms, restrictions, and requirements in the federal Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act of 2010, and all rules, regulations and administrative guidelines issued thereto. The Governor of the State of Colorado shall seek such waiver within 60 days of the enactment of this Act.”
Her amendment sounds good until you understand what the President’s opt-out offer really means.
——————— UPDATE TO THIS POST ———————-
Since this post was published, a major shift in events took place regarding the opt-out amendment–> Stephens backed off the opt-out amendment referred to in this post after her Democrat co-sponsor Senator Betty Boyd labeled the amendment a “poison pill,” and after the “business community” prompted Stephens to back away from the amendment. An opt-out amendment was never attached to SB200. 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.”
——– END OF UPDATE, BACK TO ORIGINAL POST ——
Representative Stephens Accepts the President’s Phony Offer as Legitimate
President Obama’s opt-out is a wordsmithing ruse designed to mislead states into an earlier ObamaCare implementation date with absolutely no concessions. Read more about it at my last post, “The Realities of the President’s Opt-Out Offer.”
Now read what Representative Stephens writes in her letter to Senator Betty Boyd regarding her amendment and ask yourself if she recognizes the realities of the President’s “offer:”
“With this amendment, Colorado would become one of the first states in the nation to take-up President Obama on his recent offer to allow States to opt-out of his healthcare bill. For his part, Governor Hickenlooper expressed openness to the idea of an opt-out. In exchange for the bold step of opting out of Obamacare, the State of Colorado will have healthcare exchanges that help patients get and receive affordable and reliable healthcare.”
Obviously, Representative Stephens “bold step” demonstrates she either does not recognize the President’s ruse, or she simply isn’t bothered by the fact that her bill will destroy freedom in Colorado by giving ObamaCare the hands it needs to control citizens’ individual health care choices.
Now I even question whether Representative Stephens believes that ObamaCare is unconstitutional…
ObamaCare is Unconstitutional – But does Representative Stephens Believe That?
At the time she wrote her comments and her amendment, I was grateful and publicly thanked Representative Stephens for such action. At the time, it seemed she might steer a new course with her bill to preserve freedom and defend our Constitution, as she has taken an oath to do.
However, since then, I have heard her unchanged position on SB11-200 on a local radio interview, and on her website I have read her unchanged letter to constitutents regarding the bill. I neither hear nor see any indication that she is realistically changing course with her bill to protect Colorado from ObamaCare. Nor is there any indication that she understands the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare.
Even with her amendment, SB11-200 will put Colorado patients under the direct control of ObamaCare and its plethora of bureaucrats, and ultimately destroy freedom of health care choice that Colorado patients enjoy now. It’s an alarming reality that a Republican would willingly put individual freedoms at risk like this and undermine the Constitution of the United States by enabling and legitimizing a law that literally takes the legs out from underneath individual freedom in America and impacts each of us so directly and negatively.
Will You let Colorado Republicans Choke Freedom with SB11-200?
One of two choices can be made in this freedom-choking predicament President Obama has put states in. States can react, roll over and let his problem become our problem, or states can stand up in courage to neutralize his credibility on the issue.
Representative Stephens and every Colorado Republican lawmaker has it within his or her power to stop this bill from moving forward. If you value freedom in Colorado and America, and if you believe ObamaCare must be stopped, this is your time to make an impact.
Contact Representative Stephens and every Colorado state lawmaker and urge them to vote NO on SB11-200. Urge Stephens and all Republicans to make NO deals right now. Remind them that exchanges can be brought back to the table for negotiation once ObamaCare is fully repealed, but now is NOT the time to implement exchanges of any kind that can be hijacked by ObamaCare.
Urge every Colorado Republican to stand up in courage against the unconstitutional ObamaCare before it’s too late.
SB11-200 is on the legislative fast-track and will be voted on within days. Time is of the essence. Go to www.LifeLibertyFreedom.com or to the Colorado General Assembly Contact page and contact every Colorado lawmaker now.