Don’t let 80,000 Coloradans down

The following is from Dr. Christine Gilroy of Colorado Health OP:

“I am writing to explain what you will see in the news in the next few days.

The feds have quietly been shutting down co-ops in other states over the last 3 months. New York and Nevada were most recent. I am speaking now, as they have since issued gag orders to these co-ops.

The reason these co-ops were closed was that they were successful in the Individual Market. New York had 200,000 members.

Start up insurance requires 3 years to build Risk Based Capital. Starting Co-ops required an initial start-up loan, the feds promised second year funds to Risk Based Capital, which they reneged on in the CROMNIBUS budget of 12/9/14.

They told us at the same time we could not accept Venture Capital loans or Angel Investor dollars that help other start-ups through their initial capitalization period.

The Feds also promised to support the new individual market for 2 years through Reinsurance of the Risk Corridors. This meant that insurance companies would be incentivized to take all comers through the exchanges, and more insurance companies would participate to dilute the risk.

Today they broke their promise to Colorado, and denied us the Risk Corridor funds we were promised. They offered 12%. This affects every company that participated in the individual exchanges, not just Colorado HealthOP. Colorado HealthOP only needed 35% risk payment, and would have required no further infusions of federal money to be profitable in 2016, and are currently on track to pay back our loans — with interest –before they were due.

Short-sighted partisan politics are harming the people of Colorado.

The ACA was successful in lowering individual health premiums throughout Colorado. The Colorado HealthOP is part of that.

Please, call your Congresspeople. 80,000 Coloradans rely on Colorado HealthOP to provide access to affordable care. Let’s make sure they keep their promises to the people of this state.

Did Gov. Hickenlooper ask Chris Romer to remove misleading, negative ad?

Signs point to yes.

Although the Governor’s spokesman wouldn’t comment on the content of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s conversation with Denver Mayoral candidate Chris Romer, reading between the lines of his statement, it’s pretty clear there was more to the phone call than just “calling to check in.”

Late Thursday, Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown issued a statement.

“The governor’s view about negative campaigning is well known. He doesn’t like it. He will not talk about the private conversations he has had with Chris Romer or Michael Hancock.”

More after the jump, including how we think the Hick/Romer conversation went.

Romer claims that Hickenlooper was simply calling to say “what’s up?” And from the way Romer phrased his answer, it was Romer who raised the issue of the negative ad.

“We talked about a lot of stuff, and he did not ask me to take the ad down,” Romer said. “We told him the ad was coming down on Tuesday and he said, ‘oh, great. I just wanted to know what you are up to.'”

I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Governor Hickenlooper: “Hey, Chris! Just calling to see how you’re doing. How’s the campaign trail? I could just as easily turn on my TV and find out for myself, but being the hands-on governor that I am — but with a TON of time on my hands, evidently — I thought I’d call and shoot the breeze. You’re not busy running a campaign or anything, are you?”

Chris Romer: “Er, uh, hey, John! Just so you know that ad with all the lies in it is coming down now, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Gov. Hickenlooper: “Aw, that’s alright, Chris. You know I don’t like negative ads, but that’s not why I was calling. I have enough time to just call you and say hi sometimes when I’m feeling bored. Be sure to tell your constituents that the governor they voted into office is so bored he has time to call and check up on the campaign of someone running for Mayor, okay?”

Chris Romer: “Already done. Thanks for saying hi. You can always facebook me. And hey, maybe we should go out dancing sometime. Did you know that I took dance classes at East High School? True story. Totally relevant.”

Gov. Hickenlooper: “Uh, gee… that’s… that’s really great. Say, I gotta go.” /hangs up

Mr. Romer’s answer seems a little questionable, doesn’t it?