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Sen. Mark Udall Pressured State Officials To Rewrite Bad ObamaCare Stats

- January 9, 2014

COLORADO DIVISION OF INSURANCE OFFICIALS WERE PRESSURED TO REVISE INSURANCE CANCELLATION STATISTICS

According To Newly Released Records, Colorado Division Of Insurance Director Of External Affairs Jo Bonlin Told Colleagues In A November 14, 2013 Email That "Sen. Udall Says Our Numbers Were Wrong…They Want To Trash Our Numbers." "Sen. Udall says our numbers were wrong. They are not wrong. Cancellation notices affected 249,199 people. They want to trash our numbers. I'm holding strong while we get more details. Many have already done early renewals. Regardless, they received cancellation notices." (Jo Donlin, November 14, 2013 Email)

Joe Britton, Udall's Deputy Chief Of Staff Complained That They Needed To Get The Cancellation Notice Statistics Changed Because "Reporters Keep Repeating It." "We need to move on this ASAP - or we'll be forced to challenge the 249k number ourselves. It is wildly off or at least very misleading and reporters keep repeating it." (Joe Britton, November 14, 2013 Email)

The Following Day, Donlin Sent An Email To Udall's Office Explaining The Cancellation Notice Numbers And Declined To Revise Them. "Our number of 249,199 reflects the people affected by cancellation notices based on data provided by the carriers. You are correct that Coloradans affected by these cancellations were provided options and some of them chose early renewals. However, the early renewals were one option presented along with the options to purchase a different plan from the same carrier or purchase a plan from a different carrier, both inside or outside Connect for Health Colorado. We required carriers to provide all these options as part of their cancellation notices. Also, many people affected by the cancellation notices have not chosen an early renewal." (Jo Donlin, November 15, 2013 Email )

Shortly After Sending Her Email Defending The Cancellation Numbers, Donlin Received A "Very Hostile Phone Call" From Udall's Deputy Chief Of Staff. "Following my email, I received a very hostile phone call from Sen. Udall's deputy chief of staff. Marguerite is on the phone with his chief of staff right now." (Jo Donlin, November 15, 2013 Email)

  • Udall's Chief Of Staff Also Called Marguerite Salazar, The Colorado Insurance Commissioner. "Following my email, I received a very hostile phone call from Sen. Udall's deputy chief of staff. Marguerite is on the phone with his chief of staff right now." (Jo Donlin, November 15, 2013 Email)

UDALL'S DESIRE TO REWRITE OBAMACARE'S NUMBERS IS UNDERSTANDABLE - OBAMACARE'S REALITY IS NOT GOOD

Nearly 250,000 Coloradans Received Insurance Cancellation Notices As A Result Of ObamaCare. "Insurance companies are canceling health policies for nearly 250,000 Coloradans, many because of Affordable Care Act rules, a tally likely to inflame consumers upset with controversial reforms." (Michael Booth, "Nearly 250,000 Colorado Health Policies Canceled, Many From Obamacare," The Denver Post, 11/6/13)

Udall Promised In 2009 That No One Would Lose Their Existing Coverage Because Of ObamaCare

In September Of 2009, Udall Promised. "If You Have An Insurance Policy You Like, A Doctor Or Medical Facility That Provides Medical Services To You, You'll Be Able To Keep Your Doctor Or Your Plan." "'If you have an insurance policy you like, a doctor or medical facility that provides medical services to you, you'll be able to keep your doctor or your plan,' Udall told a reporter with Fox21 News in September 2009." (Christina Salvo, "Sen. Mark Udall Talks On Health Care Reform," Fox 21 News, 9/2/09)

Udall Had The Chance To Keep His Promise In 2010, But Toed The Party Line Instead

In 2010, Senate Republicans Attempted To Strike Down "The Obamacare Rule That Is Largely Responsible For Some Of The Health Insurance Cancellation Letters That Are Going Out." "Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out. In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama's promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it." (Chris Frates, "Senate Democrats Supported Rule That Led To Insurance Cancellations," CNN, 10/31/13)

The Resolution Would Have Struck Down HHS's Grandfathering Provision That Was Intended To Help Americans Keep Their Insurance Plans. "The precipitating event was the federal regulation detailing the grandfathering provision of the law, which exempts existing health plans from certain requirements such as having to offer benefits without cost sharing. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) introduced a resolution of disapproval calling for a do-over on the regulation, which many businesses say is too onerous." (Julian Pecquet, "Grandfathering Vote Sparks Renewed Health Reform Debate," The Hill's Health Watch , 10/29/10)

Senate Democrats Voted Unanimously To Protect The Rule. "Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out." (Chris Frates, "Senate Democrats Supported Rule That Led To Insurance Cancellations," CNN, 10/31/13)

  • Udall Voted With Every Other Senate Democrat To Protect The ObamaCare Rule That Is Kicking People Off Of Their Plans. (S.J.Res 39, Roll Call Vote #244 , Defeated 40-59: R 40-0; D 0-59, 9/29/10, Udall Voted Nay)

UDALL'S APPROVAL NUMBERS HAVE TANKED DUE TO OBAMACARE

The Latest Poll From Democratic Polling Firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) Confirms That Sen. Mark Udall's (D-CO) Approval Ratings Have Dropped Precipitously and Udall Is Now Underwater, With 40 Percent Of Coloradans Approving Of His Job Performance To 41 Percent Who Disapprove. (Public Policy Polling Poll, 928 V, MoE 3.2%, 12/3-4/13)

  • In April, PPP Found That Udall's Approval Ratings Were +17, With 50 Percent Approving Of His Job Performance And 33 Percent Disapproving. (Public Policy Polling Poll, 500 V, MoE 4.4%, 4/11-14/13)

"'The Rough Last Couple Months For Democrats Have Certainly Put John Hickenlooper and Mark Udall In A Position Where They Could Be Vulnerable Next Year,' Said Dean Debnam, President Of Public Policy Polling." (Press Release, "CO Split On Hickenlooper/Udall, GOP Inclined To Run 2010 Candidates," Public Policy Polling, 12/6/13)

Udall's Declining Fortunes Are Due To ObamaCare

70 Percent Of Coloradans Say ObamaCare's Implementation Have Been Unsuccessful While Just 26 Percent Say Its Implementation Has Been Successful. (Public Policy Polling Poll, 928 V, MoE 3.2%, 12/3-4/13)

  • 47 Percent Of Coloradans Say ObamaCare's Implementation Has Been "Very Unsuccessful." (Public Policy Polling Poll, 928 V, MoE 3.2%, 12/3-4/13)

Coloradans Oppose ObamaCare By A 16 Point Margin In A November Quinnipiac Poll, With 40 Percent Supporting The Law And 56 Percent Opposing It. (Quinnipiac University Poll, 1206 RV, 2.8% MoE, 11/15-18/13)

  • 45 Percent Of Poll Respondents Said They Expected The Quality Of Their Healthcare To Be Worse One Year From Now Due To ObamaCare. Just 18 Percent Expect Their Healthcare To Be Better. (Quinnipiac University Poll, 1206 RV, 2.8% MoE, 11/15-18/13)

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