Such an innocent-looking Tweet.
Board approves 2015 budget and carrier assessment with a 7 to 1 vote
— C4HCO (@C4HCO) June 9, 2014
Reading it – or the Twitter feed in general, which is for Colorado’s state Obamacare exchange – you’d never know that it represents a $13 million rate (read: ‘tax’) hike on Colorado voters. But that is indeed what it is. It’s also a budget that is more or less out of control, but more on that later.
Some background: back in April of 2014 the exchange proposed said tax because running a state healthcare exchange is expensive, and all that sweet, sweet federal bribe subsidy money was going away. Like it does. It may seem confusing to some why there should be extra fees to cover shortfalls in the exchange, given that there was apparently money for bonuses, for CEO Patty Fontneau but that can easily be answered via a simple application of Shut up, Republican. After all, don’t people want to keep Fontneau, since she did such a great job?
“If this were my company, I would have given her a bigger bonus and a bigger raise. She pulled off an incredible job in record time under incredible pressure,” said board member Arnold Salazar[*], executive director of Colorado Health Partnerships, a mental health provider for Medicaid-eligible patients in southern and western Colorado.
If by ‘incredible job’ one means ‘blasted through a $26 million budget,’ I suppose. The actual budget for next year? $66.4 million. And as for oversight… well, the Democratic-controlled legislature killed a bill to audit the state Obamacare exchange. Funny how that sort of thing always seems to happen**.
The bottom line? Every time I sit down to write a story about a state Obamacare exchange I always seem to end up at the part where the whole thing is like throwing money into a hole. It’s at the point where I’m mildly nervous about looking at the few exchanges that seem to be more or less functional: I mean, what if the mere act of looking collapses a state vector somewhere, and all of a sudden Kentucky needs to sell off Pike County to make ends meet?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Yes, he’s the brother of the Senator and the Congressman. It’s all so very cozy in the Democratic party of Colorado.
**This will probably be the point where Obamacare supporters ‘brag’ that the Colorado exchange signed up more than its minimum numbers. I recommend asking them how many paid (some reports say less than 100K); heck, ask ’em what happened to the rest of all those people who lost their coverage in the first place. All of which is largely responsible for why said supporters aren’t bragging all that loudly.