Democrat Member of Exchange Board Questions Vote to Kill Audit Bill

Lifelong Democrat and exchange board member Ellen Daehnick is raising questions about Senate Democrats vote to kill the bill to audit Connect for Health Colorado.

Not only that, but Daehnick also questions Connect for Health’s use of taxpayer dollars to pay for lawyers that might be used “to play defense or to discourage legislation that might shine a potentially critical light on Connect for Health operations…”

See below:

Colorado Health News: Exchange Pays Outside Lawyers Up To $575 An Hour
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Exchange board member Ellen Daehnick, who joined the board in July, said exchange managers did not tell board members that they had decided to hire a general counsel or explain why. And while she’s not an expert on legal issues, Daehnick wondered why the exchange had not used Suthers’ office.

“I think the AG would have been a really reasonable choice. There may have been good reasons to opt to use private counsel, but the AG’s office has a lot of experience,” Daehnick said.

She said the spending on private lawyers may be problematic.

“What value specifically tied to our mission did Connect for Health receive for those expenditures? Were we paying attorneys to reach and enroll more people, especially people who have had trouble getting health insurance? If we’ve spent that money to play defense or to discourage legislation that might shine a potentially critical light on Connect for Health operations, then I would find that troubling.”

Daehnick said she’s a lifelong Democrat who has supported President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. She’s also a small business owner and is concerned that the decision in the Senate will harm Democrats.

“I was surprised that it was killed in committee. The bill had passed with a lot of support. I think it’s a shortsighted decision that’s going to come back to haunt the Democrats in the next six to 12 months.”

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