Staffers for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., have been accused of intimidating the Colorado Division of Insurance in order to revise and lower the number of reported health insurance cancellations that resulted from implementation of Obamacare. After grousing at the 249,000 number reported and calling the insurance division to berate them for doing their job, Udall staffers denied the intimidation accusations.
The head of Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Affairs, Barbara Kelley, has sided with Udall’s office, claiming that there was no “undue pressure” place on Insurance Division staff to revise the numbers downward. Kelley was appointed to her position by Gov. Bill Ritter in 2009, and was re-appointed in 2011 by Gov. John Hickenlooper. Both Ritter and Hickenlooper are Democrats, as is Sen. Udall.
Udall’s deputy chief of staff Joe Britton was among those who complained about the Division of Insurance’s cancellation numbers. “We need to move on this ASAP — or we’ll be forced to challenge the 249K number ourselves,” he wrote in an email to Division of Insurance staff. “It is wildly off or at least very misleading and reporters keep repeating it.” Hey, no undue pressure there!
Now comes news that, according to U.S. House Rep. Cory Gardner, the actual number was 34.5% greater, at 335,000 cancellations.
Will Mark Udall’s staffers whine about these numbers too, or have they learned a lesson about trying to bully state offices to work with his political agenda? Udall’s Senate seat is considered vulnerable for a Republican flip for the 2014 election.