Four Colorado Senate Republicans wrote a letter to state Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar asking her to explain the legal basis for her May 2 change in insurance rules to allow non-compliant policies to be extended despite federal and state laws prohibiting that extension.
“What laws were changed between your March 25 statements at a stakeholders meeting, where you said the policy could not be changed without legislative action, and your May 2 announcement where you did a complete 180?” asked State Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud). “Was your reversal of policy due to more information on what the law required?”
Senator Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) raised additional concerns about the state’s implementation of Obamacare through the Health Benefits Exchange, where Commissioner Salazar serves as an ex-officio member. "I want to know more about how the exchange can increase taxes disguised as fees, increase salaries and benefits, and then applaud a waiver of federal laws without the required legislation.”
“As you know,” the letter says, “state law (HB13-1266) requires that all insurance policies issued in Colorado must comply with federal law, and federal law did not change suddenly in February, March or April.” Yet, Salazar announced a change in policy on May 2 through an administrative Bulletin, not a formal rulemaking procedure. The letter asks Salazar to “explain the legal basis for that May 2 change in policy, which was a total reversal from your prior statements.”
“We are asking Commissioner Salazar a simple question about the lawfulness of her May 2 policy change, not a question about the laudable goals of that policy change,” said Senate Minority Leader Bill L. Cadman (R-Colorado Springs). “Republicans want the federal health care law changed, but changing the law by administrative edict is as troublesome in state matters as it is when President Obama does it.”
The letter to Salazar was signed by Senate Minority Leader Bill L. Cadman and Senators Kent Lambert, Kevin Lundberg and Ellen Roberts.