ConnectforHealthLogoEveryone hates toll roads. Nonetheless, the choice is yours if you want to use them and pay a fee. What if you opted to not use the toll road, but were charged anyway?  Is that a user fee or is that a tax? If that’s a tax, do Coloradans need to approve that?

During a hearing about the health of the Colorado Health Exchange on Friday, Republican state Sen. Kevin Lundberg questioned an upcoming policy offered by Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar that all health insurance policy holders pay a 3.5% “user fee” next year.  Yes, PeakNation™, you read that correctly. It’s not just the health exchange users who will pay a user fee.  It’s everyone with health insurance.  If everyone is required by law to have health insurance and everyone with health insurance is required to pay an additional 3.5%, how is this not a tax?

Here’s what Lundberg told us about the questionable plan:

“Obamacare’s Federal law allows a health exchange “user fee” to be assessed on all insurance policies issued through the exchange, but, with the approval of Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner, the health exchange is making all medical insurance policies in the state pay for that assessment. This is not a “user fee,” it’s a tax imposed on all medical policy holders in Colorado. Next year this tax will be nearly $10,000,000. By 2018 the exchange expects the “user fee” to be over $30,000,000.

This is not right, the health exchange board may elect to place a “user fee” on policies purchased through the exchange, but they should not make everyone else pay for it. The Insurance Commissioner needs to uphold the constitutional law that says the state of Colorado cannot impose new taxes on the people of Colorado without a vote of the people.”

Here’s the funny part.  When Lundberg questioned Salazar about the legality of the fees for those not using the exchange, she claimed to have never done any due diligence to determine whether this action was legal.  Looks like Ms. Salazar has a few phone calls to make.