The Udall ukase, once more once

At The Complete Colorado/Page Two, Todd Shepherd has broken a helluva story about the extracurricular activities of Senator Mark Udall. Udall is one of the several Democratic Senators who provided “the sixtieth vote” for Obamacare and who faces the electorate back home this coming November.

Udall was therefore none too pleased with the announcement of the Colorado Division of Insurance that Obamacare had resulted in the termination of 250,000 individual insurance policies in Colorado. Shepherd reports that Udall has pressured (as I would put it) the Colorado Division of Insurance to revise the number downward in light of double secret research performed by Udall and his staff.

After writing up Shepherd’s story yesterday, it occurred to me that our friend Michelle Malkin is one of Udall’s constituents with a story of her own. Michelle told her story this past September in “Obama lied, my health plan died.” Michelle and her family are among the 250,000 tabulated by the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Michelle’s column as posted at her site even includes helpful exhibits that document her story. They may come in handy for Udall and his staff. Udall’s happy talk to the contrary notwithstanding, Michelle reported:

When we asked whether we could keep our children’s doctors, an agent for Anthem told my husband and me she didn’t know. The insurer has no details available yet on what exactly they’ll be offering. We either will be herded into the Obamacare federal health insurance exchange regime (launching October 1), a severely limited HMO plan, or presented with costlier alternatives from another insurer. If they even exist.

At the time she wrote her column this past September, Michelle anticipated she would be paying more for less. If you haven’t yet read Michelle’s column, please take a time out to do so. It’s a terrific piece of journalism in the first person.

Denver Post reporter Michael Booth might want to reach out to Michelle (writemalkin@gmail.com). Booth seems to have teamed up with Udall to write the public relations announcement that the Post published as news this past November: “Were Coloradans cancelled, or offered a renewal of their health policy?”

It’s a funny kind of news story. It’s based on “research by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s office,” as it discloses right in the first paragraph. But what research? How was the research conducted? What were the details and results? Booth doesn’t say. It’s a deep, dark secret of the kind real journalists are paid to check and unravel. Apart from Udall’s, names are in short supply and details are fuzzy in Booth’s story. Booth gives us this:

Anthem and Kaiser, the two largest insurers by far in the relatively small category of individual and small-group policies, said Friday they have offered nearly all such consumers renewals with similar policies through Dec. 1, 2014.

Anthem’s letters offer “current plan designs” for the next year. Kaiser Permanente, which calls its actions “discontinuation,” not cancellation, said those customers “also got information about how they can keep their coverage with Kaiser Permanente.”

Michelle Malkin’s family had carried an Anthem health insurance policy procured in the small group market. Here’s hoping that Michelle’s Anthem policy was “renewed through December 1, 2014,” or only “discontinued”!

Booth’s Denver Post article has generated more than 200 comments. A bemused email from Jo Donlin, Director of External Affairs at the Division of Insurance, notes that Booth’s article relies on unnamed “Udall staff” and finds the comments “very interesting,” as indeed they are.

Colorado Peak Politics has more on the Denver Post’s public relations work for Udall here, and Moe Lane has more here.

The Complete Colorado aggregates relevant stories in a Drudge-like format. Can we get one of those thingies for Minnesota?

Responses