hickenlooperWhile some of you were busy getting your Good Friday and Passover on, Governor John Hickenlooper quietly signed legislation compelling a thorough audit of Colorado’s embattled health care exchange. SB15-19, sponsored by Sens. Jahn and Sonnenberg and Rep. Nordberg, “allows the state auditor to conduct a performance audit of the Colorado health benefit exchange and submit a written report to the legislative audit committee with any findings and recommendations”.

The bill opens up the operations, contract management, project management, and performance of systems or any related systems necessary to complete a full audit of the exchange.

While just Rep. Paul Rosenthal voted no in the final vote to pass this bill, Democratic leadership at the State Capitol has not always been on board.  In fact, despite numerous reports showing that the exchange had some serious issues, Democrats continued to think that an audit would clear the exchange.  This wrong-headed thinking remained even after review after review showed loose controls with contracting that included the purchase of $40,000 in lip balm to encourage sign ups.

Nonetheless, this is great news for Coloradans who use the exchange and have dealt with a mountain of challenges as well as taxpayers who were outraged over some of the exchange’s largess, such as bonuses and superfluous marketing giveaways.

With so many people supporting this bill, we have to wonder why Hick chose to sign it when everyone was looking elsewhere.  Does he know that what’s coming out of that audit is going to be problematic?