“Repeal Obamacare” Again? Haven’t “The Voters Spoken?”

Ladies and gentlemen, we reluctantly direct your attention to Colorado House Bill 13-1078, calendared for next Tuesday in the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee. HB13-1078 is sponsored in the House by Rep. Janak "Dr. Nick" Joshi, along with Reps. Chris Holbert, Jared Wright, Justin Everett, Steve Humphrey, and Lori Saine. In the Senate, though it's very unlikely to get that far, the bill is sponsored by Republican Sens. Ted Harvey and Scott Renfroe. Without further adoo, here is the summary of HB13-1078.

In 2010, pursuant to the enactment of federal law that allowed each state to establish a health benefit exchange option through state law or opt to participate in a national exchange, the general assembly enacted the "Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act" (act). The act created the state exchange, a board of directors (board) to implement the exchange, and a legislative health benefits exchange implementation review committee to make recommendations to the board.

This bill repeals the act. [Pols emphasis]

First of all, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange was established by the passage of Senate Bill 200 in 2011–not 2010. So there's that mistake. 

The health insurance exchange, established with bipartisan support including (after some waffling) that of former House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, is set to become one of the most important aspects of the federal Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare"–for many Coloradans, it's the most visible aspect of health care reform they will take part in. Although the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange passed with bipartisan support, many Colorado Republicans have subsequently railed against its passage, and characterized support as an issue worthy of a primary.

But there's a problem. In 2010, before the passage of Senate Bill 200, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 63 by over 100,000 votes. Amendment 63  was a measure sponsored by the conservative Independence Insitute to challenge Obamacare. Amendment 63 claimed to overrule any law, even federal law, that required "individuals to buy insurance, join a health-care exchange or accept government-subsidized care"–probably not constitutional, but that's what it said.

Why is this a problem, you ask? Simple: the single most frequently-made argument against the passage of civil unions legislation by the same Republicans is that "the voters have spoken"–in 2006, when Colorado voters rejected Referendum I, a domestic partnership ballot measure. The argument being that the "voters have spoken," so the legislature should not pass civil unions without referring it for a statewide vote.

All of which is rendered one big fat hypocritical liability by the introduction of HB13-1078. Good work!

2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    If my memory serves me correctly, every single chamber of commerce and business group in Colorado supported SB 10-200, including CACI and the Metro Denver Chamber because they believe exchanges will reduce health care costs and the exchanges stand on their own no matter how the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on President Obama's healthcare law.  The Republican Party, especially in the legislature, is no longer the party supporting business. They're committed to their ironclad ideological positions no matter what and no matter who they try to run over, which in this case is the business community.  As Aristotle said in another thread:  I can't believe how much the Republicans want to double down on issues they've lost on again and again.

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