This afternoon, the House Committee on Insurance, Health, and Environment “postponed indefinitely” (read: killed) a bill that would have required legislative oversight for employee bonuses at Colorado’s health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. The bill, SB15-052, originated in the Senate and was killed on a party line vote. Just to be clear, here are the people who thought additional transparency for the Health Exchange, a quagmire of cronyism and waste, was a bad idea:
- Rep. Beth McCann
- Rep. Joann Ginal
- Rep. Sue Ryden
- Rep. Dianne Primavera
- Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush
- Rep. Daneya Esgar
- Rep. Susan Lontine
In defending her vote to indefinitely postpone this important bill, Primavera said, “I think we’re singling out this entity.”
Even funnier was Ginal’s commentary, “The exchange is doing a phenomenal job.”
Rep. Jon Keyser, the House sponsor of this bill, reminded the two liberal Representatives of the, ahem, challenges the Exchange has faced. Even its interim CEO admitted that the Health Exchange has not lived up to expectations in this letter. The Exchange asked for $322,000 in emergency funds alone last month. These examples are to say nothing about the massive technology glitches that have prevented people from gaining coverage and/or canceling existing coverage.
Despite these issues, former CEO Patty Fontneau gave herself a $14,000 bonus.
But, back to the legislation at hand. It’s not that anyone is complaining about CEO pay here. The issue is CEO bonuses when the entity a CEO is overseeing is foundering. If this isn’t foundering, we don’t know what is.
Here’s what Compass Colorado’s Kelly Maher said about the now-killed bill: “A common sense, bipartisan solution is to require some oversight to this kind of meritless largesse paid for with the taxpayer’s money.”
It’s too bad that the seven listed above could not see past their partisan agenda to get a solid glimpse of reality. The exchange is broken and Coloradans deserve a bipartisan solution.