Despite having years to figure out a how, Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s online health-insurance exchange, still isn’t financially sustainable. In an effort to stay viable, the exchange has been raising fees on consumers ever since it was established, and Republicans felt it was finally time for voters to have a say on those fees. Especially given that, for all intents and purposes, a fee really is a tax.
Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) and Rep. Lang Sias (R-Arvada), would have required a November vote on whether the exchange could continue charging a fee to insurers who sell policies through its platform. Democrats killed the bill on a party line vote in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
According to the Denver Business Journal, supporters of the exchange testified “the possibility that the fee would not be continued could put the future of the exchange in jeopardy.” The fact that there is a genuine fear voters would say no to the fee means officials at the exchange realize the people of Colorado don’t feel like they’re getting their money’s worth (no big shock there). That means they probably wouldn’t approve any fee or tax increase to fund the exchange, which means it would probably go away.
Thanks to House Democrats, however, the exchange lives to die another day. Because if they won’t stand up for Obamacare’s failed policies and the broken healthcare system, who will?