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February 24, 2014 02:10 PM UTC

Despite letter informing him otherwise, Gardner falsely states that 335,000 Coloradans lost health insurance due to Obamacare

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).
Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

On KNUS' Kelley and Company a few weeks ago, Rep. Cory Gardner said:

Gardner (@ 1:30): "I would gladly bring Barack Obama and take him around the state of Colorado, introduce him to the 335,000 Coloradans who lost their health insurance thanks to Barack Obama's bill that Mark Udall passed."

Gardner would have a tough time with these introductions because 335,000 such people do not exist. It's not true that 335,000 Coloradans lost their health insurance thanks to Obamacare.

I wondered how Gardner could make this egregious mistake, because The Denver Post reported that the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) wrote a letter specifically to Gardner, informing him that 335,000 Coloradans were sent letters stating that their health insurance policies were cancelled. They were advised of other health-insurance options, one of which, for 92 percent of these people, was to renew their existing policies or choose from other options.

I thought, maybe The Post got its facts wrong about the letter to Gardner. So I contacted DORA, and Communications Manager Vincent Plymell confirmed that DORA sent Gardner a letter stating that "92% [of 335,484] were offered the opportunity of early renewal and continue their plans into 2014."

Just to make sure I wasn't missing something in Gardner's logic, I asked Plymell what "early renewal" meant:

Plymell: "'Early renewal' meant that instead of renewing their policies when the policies expired, they could renew early. These would have been non-ACA compliant plans."

Asked via email about the price for the renewals, Plymell wrote, "Some may have been at the same price, but as is common with renewals of policies in general (early or not), many would have been for higher premiums." He added:

Plymell: Remember that for people receiving cancellation letters, they were required to be told by the carriers about all of their options – early renewal, if it was a possibility (and for 92% it was), other plans from that carrier, switching to another carrier, or Connect for Health Colorado. If people didn't like the renewal price, they had other options for coverage in 2014. Also remember that prior to the plans for 2014, people with individual plans (as opposed to employer plans) did not tend to explore those options, because they did not want to have to apply again and go through underwriting, which could mean they could be denied or have their particular conditions excluded. Going into 2014, they could realistically explore those options because they could not be denied for health reasons or have their pre-existing condition excluded from coverage.

So it looks like The Denver Post got it right, while KNUS and Gardner somehow missed the boat.


38 thoughts on “Despite letter informing him otherwise, Gardner falsely states that 335,000 Coloradans lost health insurance due to Obamacare

  1. If Cory Gardner ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd tell a bunch of lies just to keep from capsizing. He is the original tool.

    Good work as always, Jason.

      1. Vic Meyers from Trinidad is running in the 4th CD. He's facing an overwhelming disadvantage in party registration and a big honkin distance to cover, so his chances may not be so good. The guy's in kind of the same position as Martin Walsh running against DeGette.

  2. Wait, try a little math exercise:

    1/2 truth + 1/2 truth = whole truth, right? Nah, repeating the same 1/2 truth doesn't add any value

    oh wait, it's 1/2 + 1/2 false = no truth (and no credibility for the BS artist spreading the manure around)

      1. You forgot to mention the RENEWAL NOTICE 92% received in the same envelope with the cancellation notice. Is it OK to call a RENEWAL NOTICE what it is too?

          1. It is not exactly what was promised. They were foolish to promise that private insurance companies would let you keep whatever you liked because that has never ever been true. I "admitted" that long ago and criticized Obama for making such a stupid promise in the first place, an unforced error that has handed all kinds of pearl clutching, spinning, lying and fractional truths to your side on a silver platter.

            That doesn't change the fact the the numbers you cite are meaningless the way your side uses them. It also doesn't change the fact that you can call it Udallcare, say Udall lied, Udall killed all you want. None of your clowns will beat Udall. You might want to consider moving on to something else.

        1. Dave, great point. 

          Just like 335,000 cancellations = 335,000 cancellations.

          A cancellation + an offer for a new policy is still a cancellation.

          Colorado Pols lied.

          1. So, when a bank sends out letters to all its debit and credit card holders cancelling the cards due to the Target breach and threat of so many others, but gives those card holders the option of renewing their accounts with new cards carrying new numbers, is that a cancellation or is it a renewal?

            I mention the above example because it happens to be true. Like a facty thing.

            Can you comprehend this?

            1. Banks and Insurance companies are governed by different regulatory bodies with different terms of art.  

              That said, the card would be cancelled, not the account.  

              1. Actually, Andrew, you are wrong again. The card number represents the account number for the credit card account. What formally happens when an new credit card is issued with an new number is the credit card company closes the old account and opens a new account with the new number. You really need to stop the intellectual dishonestly of just making things up as you go along.

      2. Because this ultimately meaningless technicality is all you've got. After all, if there was an easy solution, including renewal for the existing policy, for 92% that makes your beloved number meaningless. It would leave you with having to prove what options were and were not available to the remaining 8% of your beloved number and that might lead to uncomfortable exposure of policies that were nothing but money wasting scams that some of that 8% didn't lose so much as were rescued from. In any case the number truly negatively affected would hardly be dramatic enough to suit your political needs. 

        1. In any dealings with this batch of people. It's helpful to remember these are the same folks for whom an "act of terrorism"is not a "terrorist act". They have a Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass attitude and words mean just what they want them to mean- no more, no less. They'll scream taken out of context in one situation and in another completely ignore any context.

          1. They latch on to words, without context, because context is too limiting, and could go against their agenda.  Without context, they can twist buzzwords like Freedom, Liberty, Christian, Forefathers, and Rights, to mean whatever they want them to mean at the time, without having to worry about being tied down to actual concepts. 

            These are people for whom legalized discrimination has to do with "Rights", paying exorbitant fees to Insurance companies for worthless coverage is "Freedom", and the primarily Deist "Forefathers" created this country as a "Christian" nation.  Oh, yeah… and sending our children to die in the desert and bombing the shit out of brown people so corporations can profit is all about "Liberty" (I didn't want to leave that out, since it's so important to them). 

            So, to them, Cancellation is a magic word, like Benghazi, or Birth Certificate

    1. If you keep repeating the lie somebody just might believe it, and maybe they'll tell someone, and so on, and then the lie gets legs and everyone believes it !  Even if people call you out with sound evidence and facts just keep repeating the lie.  Its so crazy it just might not work at all.

    2. Pity them, don't punish them. They're in an impossible situation trying to defend this disaster. It will be better for them after the election when they can finally throw Obamacare (and lame duck Obama) to the wolves.

  3. Good thing that Hick got rid of that previous spokesperson for the Insurance Department.  She was the one who called Udall's office on its attempts to massage the numbers.  It was kind of like she didn't get the memo.  Everything is great, now move along.

  4. Of course, many health insurance policies were cancelled to make way for the ACA mandates.  Many folks lost their preference for a minimalist policy to cover sudden catastrophic medical events … but these same people would upgrade their policy to cover chronic health conditions.  Many who are young, healthy and prosperous (especially self-employed or small business types) do not want or need all the extras enshrined in the ACA, but would switch in a heartbeat if their health status changed. 

    1. And of course you never know your health status is going to change drastically until it does. At that point your minimalist policy won't do you much good.  You'll be free to go bankrupt and other people will be free to pick up the tab. Of course we could just join the rest of the civilized world. The endless, dull, ever so serious Russian opening and closing ceremonies reminded me of how adorable the British ones were, including their tribute to National Health of which even conservative icon and St. Reagan buddie Margaret Thatcher Milk Snatcher was enormously proud.

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