As I have predicted for years, Colorado is proving that ObamaCare really hurts people. A Colorado cancer patient is being forced to forego chemotherapy because she and thousands of other Coloradans can’t get insurance coverage, which prevents all of them from receiving necessary health care. Meanwhile, the unelected and unaccountable money-grabbing bureaucracy we call the Colorado Health Exchange Board continually votes to take more of your money to perpetuate their failures.
Several concerned individuals testified before Colorado’s health exchange board on Monday 1/12/2015. As reported by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon at www.HealthNewsColorado.org, the exchange’s software system is failing and it’s causing potentially life-threatening delays:
Cancer patients desperately in need of critical care are among those unable to get health insurance because Colorado’s sign-up system is failing to work properly.
“One [patient] has foregone her chemo last week,” said T.J. Dufresne of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments.
An insurance broker testified that 57% of her Colorado clients who can’t get coverage:
Jen Fanning, executive director of the Grand County Rural Health Network came to the exchange board meeting in Denver and said 57 percent of the 153 people her agency has tried to help have been unable to get health insurance because of system snafus.
A patient named “Matt” explained that he hasn’t been able to get necessary medical care for 5 weeks:
He [Matt] testified over the phone and said he’s been trying unsuccessfully to get coverage and hadn’t heard anything for five weeks from either Connect for Health or Medicaid workers until Friday. “I’m currently avoiding medical care due to lack of confidence in how these bills will be paid.”
It gets worse. Health News Colorado is also reporting that the exchange is preventing as many as 5,000 Coloradans from acquiring health insurance coverage (see “Exchange snafus trip up thousands as more cost overruns mount“).
Not to worry, the exchange board can fix all that. By taking more of your tax dollars and applying “Band-Aid’ fixes:
The Colorado health exchange board reluctantly voted on Monday to spend $322,000 over the next month to pay the exchange’s contractor, CGI, to do temporary “Band-aid fixes.”
However, since these will only be Band-Aid fixes to an untested system, more work and even more of your money will be necessary to try and turn this machine into the utopian health care system promised by ObamaCare. But exactly how much will it cost? At least $6 million. Beyond that ginormous amount, nobody knows:
Neither exchange officials nor representatives from Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, who manage Medicaid, responded immediately to questions about how much they’ve already agreed to spend on the shared sign-in system, which was supposed to offer a simple, streamlined way for customers to find out of they qualify for Medicaid, and if not, to shop for insurance through the exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Exchange managers have already agreed to spend about $6 million on the system. For Medicaid managers, their share has been at least $2.6 million.
By now, the obvious question that should be weighing on everyone’s mind came from Matt. What happens when the system’s failure eventually results in death?
He [Matt] questioned what kind of liability exchange and state officials will have if someone who has been struggling to get health coverage, but can’t, has a major medical issue or dies.
That question stumped every single exchange board member, along with Hickenlooper’s Deputy Chief of Staff, David Padrino, Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar and Sue Birch, head of Medicaid for Colorado.
Adele Work, an exchange consultant, simply said, “I don’t have an answer. That’s a fair question.” Exchange board members expressed deep frustration that IT problems are once again dogging the exchange.
According to McCrimmon, our own Governor Hickenlooper dodged the tough questions about the exchange, and instead offered praises for the exchange’s enrollment numbers:
Gov. John Hickenlooper’s press secretary sent a written statement in which the governor said he’s pleased that exchange managers have so far enrolled more than 120,000 people as either new or renewing customers for 2015.
I covered the facts and details of these exchanges extensively in my 20-part series back in 2011. I warned repeatedly that problems such as these would be only some of the issues resulting from ObamaCare and the exchanges. It’s only going to get worse, because the state health exchange is a ruse. It is the necessary link in the ObamaCare chain, the bureaucracy which ObamaCare had to forcefully coerce into existence. Without it, there is no ObamaCare implementation. And without it, the federal government hasn’t the hands it needs to meddle into and control the health care of every citizen it registers.
Now and by design, the well-paid bureaucrats who run the exchange are dumb-founded while real people wait for necessary health care. Our questions about its failures are met with more demands for our money; hence, the failures which hurt individuals will be funded indefinitely.
Unless we repeal the effects of ObamaCare at the state level, this will be the continued and destructive self-perpetuation of the health exchange. At the time of this writing, some bold Colorado lawmakers are working to repeal the exchange. Check out their efforts here, support them, and stay tuned…