Over the weekend, I mentioned the controversy over ObamaCare cancellation numbers in Colorado, where staffers for Democratic Senator Mark Udall have been accused of trying to intimidate state officials into keeping the true fallout from Obama’s (and Udall’s) Big Lie quiet. A huge number of insurance policies – 250,000 of them – were cancelled despite the “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise both Obama and Udall repeated.
Udall wanted to emphasize that some 238,000 of those Big Lie victims were given opportunities to renew their policies by the insurance companies, who are among the worst monsters in history according to Democrats, except when they go above and beyond legal requirements to save Obama’s misbegotten health care scheme from itself.
The number of renewals offered to those with canceled policies is, in my opinion, relative data that should not be suppressed. (We’ve had more than enough suppression of data throughout the ObamaCare crisis, haven’t we?) But evidently the Colorado health care exchange was told to suppress the total number of cancellations and report only the 12,000 or so people who couldn’t get renewals. They refused, leading to a reportedly heated telephone conversation with Udall staffers. It should also be noted that these renewals would only have been good for one more year, which merely delays the reality of the Big Lie, rather than neutralizing it.
Now comes word from the Colorado Observer that Congress might investigate whether Udall’s staff brought inappropriate pressure to bear against those state exchange officials, based on complaints from Republican Rep. Cory Gardner:
Gardner has been in discussions with leaders of the House Oversight Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee, and says hearings are likely.
“I think anytime you have an office that is caught red-handed in a hostile phone call where they are trying to change what is recognized as legitimate numbers for political purposes, that’s an inappropriate use of government power,” Gardner said.
“It’s clear from the emails the senator wasn’t worried about the 250,000 people who lost their insurance, he wanted to change the numbers so it didn’t look bad,” Gardner said.
House lawmakers are also investigating whether similar political moves by different lawmakers were made in other states where cancellation numbers were high due to Obamacare.
Asked if the issue was going away anytime soon, Gardner said, “No, there are 250,000 Coloradans who deserve an answer.”
I still think it’s a stretch to characterize what Udall’s people did as the abuse of government power to intimidate state officials, although it’s fair enough to criticize them for acting to suppress politically inconvenient data, or chastise them for inappropriate, unprofessional conduct. “Hostile phone calls” don’t seem like the sort of thing House Oversight should be investigating. I have yet to hear any allegations that Senator Udall himself was beastly to the Covered Colorado officials, or that his staff leveled threats at them.
I wonder how many phone conversations flowing between Congressional staffers and state or local officials could be characterized as “hostile.” Maybe we should ask the NSA about that, since they’re monitoring everything. It would be interesting to check with other state health departments and see if there was widespread pressure to keep the bad numbers under wraps.
For the record, it is now crystal clear that Colorado officials did indeed provide an incorrect tally of ObamaCare-related insurance cancellations. They were way too low. The actual number turns out to be 34 percent higher than initially believed, standing at 335,000 cancellations. Time for another hostile phone call?