House Democrats today are set to take up the health exchange audit bill, which is fancy political speak, for kill it with the passion of a thousand white-hot suns by stabbing it repeatedly through the heart. Then shooting it in the head.
Democrats have no use for transparency when it comes to Colorado’s Obamacare nightmare, as evidenced recently when they took the bonus bill to the woodshed and beat it like a red-headed step-child until it was dead.
You get the picture – kill the health care repair bills — death to oversight of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that have been poured down the toilet by overpaid exchange officials.
Ironically, just days after Democrats killed the GOP bill requiring approval before exchange officials cold give themselves hefty bonuses, we see this headline on Health News Colorado: “Exchange managers get bonuses even as customers struggle to sign up.”
Authored by the tenacious Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, the article states that managers have budgeted themselves nearly $106,000 in bonuses for the extraordinary work they expect us to believe was performed.
The bonuses — including a hefty one this year for the technology chief — have come as IT and sign-up glitches have dogged the exchange, forcing millions of dollars in cost-overruns and complicating sign-ups for thousands of people who were trying to buy private health insurance.
Oops! Cat is out of the bag. Their work sucks.
Meanwhile, the exchange said Monday that Medicaid calls are to blame for millions more in cost overruns so they’ve agreed to audit just how much work that entails … so they can ask for money …
Medicaid and exchange managers need to map out solutions for the problems that could cost an additional $2 million to $7 million. That’s on top of $6.2 million in cost overruns for the exchange call center this year. It’s unclear who will pay for the new fixes — the state, the exchange or both. Exchange board members plan to meet again on March 23 to vote on solutions.
More than 141,639 have signed up for private health plans through the exchange. We’ll have to wait and see how many of those actually purchase the insurance. Last year, tens of thousands of consumers signed up but later dropped out of the program.
Katie provides a handy dandy chart to illustrate how Colorado’s exchange stacks up to other states. In a nutshell, we rank towards the bottom.
In fact, Colorado netted about as many sign-ups as Utah, a state that has about 2.7 million residents, compared to Colorado’s 5 million.
This year’s bonus, by the way, is in addition to the nearly $227,000 they have already awarded themselves over the past two years.
And, they want to raise fees on consumers. Which brings us to:
(Exchange board chair Sharon O’Hara) Clarke also said financial managers have set aside a total of $123,870 in cash for bonuses this year for 11 eligible employees. Starting this year, Clarke said money for bonuses will not come from taxpayers, who have funded more than $183 million to launch Colorado’s exchange. Instead, the bonuses would be paid with other revenues, which include user fees, assessments on people who get health insurance outside the exchange and leftover cash from Colorado’s high-risk pool.
Honestly, it makes us want to light torches and storm the gates to kill this monstrous system created by the exchange.
And when your health care costs go up, again, or it’s just cancelled for no reason while bureaucrats collect six-figure salaries and thousands of dollars more in bonuses paid by your hard-earned dollars, remember to thank your Democrat legislators for their laxity.
We’ll be passing out the torches come election day.