Skip to comments.Dem congressman to seek Obamacare waiver for ritzy Colorado ski towns (Boulder Cong)
Posted on 10/25/2013 10:21:12 AM PDT by Red Steel
Obamacare premiums are too costly for ski country. Democratic Rep. Jared Polis plans to ask for a waiver from the federal government for people in Summit County who cant afford insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
No one in Summit County has signed up for Obamacare, according to Tamara Drangstveit, who is helping lead efforts to enroll uninsured people through Colorados new health insurance exchange website.
Thats because the cost, when compared to other areas of the state, is astronomical. Plans vary in cost by as much as $400 based solely on where people live, according to the Health Policy Solutions website.
The same plan that costs $232 per month in Greeley costs $667 per month in Summit County, the site reported.
People take one look at the rates and they walk out the door, Drangstveit told the site. We had really hoped that (the marketplace) would bring down rates. Sadly, thats not what were seeing. People just cant afford it. Their incomes are already squeezed too tight.
Summit County is home to pricey ski resorts like Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin and is among the most expensive places in Colorado to live. Health Policy Solutions reported that most year-round residents spend up to 50 percent of their income on housing. They also pay more for staples like gas and food. Many people who work in the service industry such as bartenders and ski lift operators work more than one job to make ends meet.
Because of these factors, Summit County has a higher percentage of uninsured people than in other areas of the state, about 25-30 percent. For years, Aspen where the median home price is $2.9 million has had the highest percentage of uninsured people in Colorado.
In a letter to Colorado insurance commissioner Marguerite Salazar, Polis wrote that wealthy homeowners who dont live in Summit County full time distort the figures used to set premium rates.
Summit County is already home to a higher-cost-of-living and greater proportion of uninsured population than other parts of the state, he said.
We will be encouraging a waiver, he told Health Policy Solutions. It will be difficult for Summit County residents to become insured. For the vast majority, its too high a price to pay.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Colorado Republican Committee Chairman Ryan Call praised the decision, but said that it doesnt go far enough everyone, he said, should get a reprieve from what he called the train wreck of Obamacare.
Were glad that Congressman Polis has seen the light, Call said. However, its not just Coloradans in ski towns who need to be saved from the Obamacare train wreck. Working families, small business owners, senior citizens and young people across Colorado are struggling to pay their bills and they should all be saved from Obamacares high price tag.
The Colorado Republican Committee calls on Congressman Polis, Sen. Mark Udall and the rest of Colorados congressional delegation to treat every Coloradan fairly and seek an Obamacare waiver for everyone, he said.
In the letter to Salazar, Polis asked for Summit County to be included in a less-expensive geographic area for the sake of calculating premiums. Such a move could cut premiums by as much as 50 percent, he told Health Policy Solutions.
But its not likely to happen any time soon geographic areas are set until 2015. Drangstveit said shes worried that people wont bother to sign up a year from now after being scared off by sticker shock this year.
Who knows if theyre going to come back? she said. To me the best solution is one we can do most quickly. I would hate to discourage what could be hundreds of thousands of people signing up. Its not an easy process.
They use the laws to give special favors to people who then reward them. This is corrupt. No worse than what happens in Greece.
and non-ski country as well.
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Card carrying DemocRats are now exempt.
The more exemptions that are granted to special interests, the more money must be extracted from the rest of us poor suckers who fund the system to make up for the money lost due to the waivers on others who have the same “ability to pay” as the rest of us who have not received favored treatment via exemptions.
Well, isn’t that precious?
Summit County - President, county election returns
Barack Obama (Dem) 60.9% (9,169)
Mitt Romney (GOP) 36.5% (5,495)
How about exempting everyone?
Sun Valley had/has the same problem. The "help" can't afford to live there so they have to bus them in, from progressively further away. In the middle of winter that can get to be a bit of a challenge.
0bamacare would work a lot better if we could just exempt everybody. I mean, the bureaucrats would still have jobs, they could make grand decisions about everything, publish mighty government documents, preen at high-priced conferences, and leave the rest of us the hell alone. I'd pay for that kind of a win-win situation.
I catch the drift of what you are saying. But there really was not a choice. Vote for the RINO who fathered Obamacare, or the weasel it was named after. I cannot blame folks for voting for a second Obama term, as there really was no alternative. Even if Romney was "electable".
Is there any substantive difference between the Federal government and the Mafia?
Wow. 94.7 percent voted for a liberal.
I think your math is off a bit. lol
Why don’t they just come out and waive all registered democrats and illegals. Why dance around it?
Or, as my liberal friends have told me, "elections have consequences."
You voted for it...you own it.
probably more like 99% if we count votes for independents/third parties
What can I say
The law should be rewritten; only republicans with a job will pay for Obamacare.
Waivers, my eye, especially for select grouops! Just dump the whole legislative mess!
In other words, sort of a poll tax on the opposition.... then again the GOPe would agree to it if they did that