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Wake up, Amy!

April 13, 2011

In a new report by a Denver newspaper blog, Monument Rep Amy Stephens said that her healthcare exchange bill, also known as “Amycare,” is not dead. She says,

The bill is still alive. I think everyone has to calm down.

Somehow, I don’t think that resurrection of this Frankenstein is a reason to calm down. The report goes on to state:

A broad and unlikely coalition of Colorado businesses, doctors, consumer groups and insurance brokers joined together to support the bill.

The report goes on to list the organizations: Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, Colorado Competitive Council, Colorado Concern and the National Federation of Independent Business. Business groups, yes. Doctors, no.

I don’t see a consumer group in the mix. Admittedly, the Healthcare for All Colorado group, a left-wing single-payer advocacy group, is one such supporter.

The business support is not at all surprising, as they will be the beneficiaries of the bill: in the case of business, they will be relieved of having to provide healthcare coverage; in the case of healthcare organizations, government-run healthcare ensures them a steady stream of government income and possibly a monopoly. It’s win-win for the looters.

The losers are Colorado taxpayers who will fund the health insurance and Colorado citizens who will find their health insurance choices increasingly limited until they are left with the government single-payer option under Obamacare. State healthcare exchanges must meet federal guidelines by 2014, no matter how they originated.

Stephens reportedly,

…sounded weary of trying to explain the issue to some Tea Party activists.“You’ll never satisfy some of them because there’s always some new conspiracy,” Stephens said. “I’m elected to be a leader and find solutions.”

This sounds suspiciously like left-wing rhetoric: the Tea Party activists just aren’t smart enough to know what’s good for them, like she does. She talks to citizen groups but she carefully avoids discussing the issues with them. On the other hand, she seems quite chummy with socialist Democrat Senator Betty Boyd:

But Boyd said she and Stephens had come to a new understanding.

Indeed. Yet it is not just the ignorant hoi polloi of the Tea Parties who think exchanges are a bad idea. Heritage has a mixed message on them. Cato is against them, as is the American Enterprise Institute. Most recently, Reason magazine published an article entitled Why States Are Shying Away From ObamaCare’s Health Insurance Exchanges. New Mexico’s governor just vetoed it, the Oklahoma legislature killed it, as did the South Carolina legislature. Florida and Idaho won’t touch it. Utah’s exchange–much touted by Stephens as a model–has failed.

In analyzing the effects of state exchanges, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels lists four concerns:

  • Federal regulations –NO timetable
  • Existing state models –NO value
  • Administrative burden –NO money
  • Demand (estimates) –NO clue

The Amycare bill answers none of these concerns. In fact, in true Obamacare fashion, the bill itself gives no details whatsoever of the exchange that would be created by the bill. It simply creates an exchange whose details will be written by the administrators, overseen by a board appointed 7-2 by Democrat single-payer advocates.

I thought we may have gotten through last week when Stephens offered and amendment that

would have said the exchanges could only take effect if Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, secured a waiver from the federal government opting the state out of the federal health care law, something Hickenlooper said he would not do.

That amendment is apparently off the table now, as her handlers wouldn’t go for it.

When is Rep Stephens going to start representing her constituents? It seems she is more beholden to business and healthcare special interest groups.

Wake up, Amy! Is this the issue you’re willing to end your political career for?

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