Majority Leader Amy Stephens' last minute maneuver to force Democrats to opt-out of Obamacare in order to benefit from health exchanges seems to be working.
The maneuver seems to be having its intended political effect, shifting the debate back toward Obamacare.
In today's Denver Post, Hick says Colorado can't wait to have these exchanges and the business community said the same. Stephens amendment allows it. All Hick has to do is ask to opt-out of Obamacare.
This isn't a big ask. President Obama himself said an opt-out for interested states was on the table.
“If your state can create a plan that covers as many people as affordably and comprehensively as the Affordable Care Act does—without increasing the deficit—you can implement that plan,” Obama said. “And we’ll work with you to do it.”
And just last week Hick himself refused to rule out seeking a full opt-out of Obamacare.
“We all agree that we want businesses and individuals to be able to get insurance that they can afford and we have to work together to do that. If we can figure out a way to do that less expensively and to the greater benefit of Colorado without implementing what Congress passed (the Affordable Care Act) then so be it.”
As for Sen. Betty Boyd's description of the amendment as a posion pill, that's not fair. The amendment simply disentangles “exchanges” from the “toxic” grip of Obamacare. Rep. Stephens hostility to Obamacare isn't news to Boyd. She acknowledged it just last week.
We know that many conservatives (and some loyal readers) were frothing at Representative Stephens, but you have to give her credit. With the help of Sen. Shawn Mitchell, the tables have been turned on the Hick and the statehouse Dems nicely.
You want exchanges, Governor Hickenlooper? You can have them.
Opt out of Obamacare!