Democrats Lavish Praise on GOP Rep. Amy Stephens (Yes, Really)

Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).

Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).

A press release from the Colorado House Democratic Majority today celebrates the opening of Connect for Health Colorado, the state's new health insurance exchange and a major component of the federal Affordable Care Act:

“The window to a healthier future for Colorado opened today,” said Rep. McCann (D-Denver), who is chairwoman of the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee and vice chair of the Health Insurance Exchange Legislative Oversight Review Board. “Because our state will be healthier, it will be more productive and more prosperous.” 

Rep. McCann credited the legislators who supported the 2011 bill creating the new system. 

“I want to express again my thanks to Rep. Amy Stephens and the bipartisan majority that made this day possible,” [Pols emphasis] Rep. McCann said. “We have a bipartisan Colorado solution to implement the Affordable Care Act.” 

Rep. Stephens (R-Monument) and former Sen. Betty Boyd sponsored the bill that produced Connect for Health Colorado. Rep. Stephens and 12 other House Republicans, including then-Speaker Frank McNulty, joined House Democrats in support of the bill. The exchange also has strong business support.

It's useful to recall the bipartisan support for the new health insurance exchange when it was passed in 2011 today, since Republicans are doing their level best to portray inevitable startup glitches as catastrophic failures. FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

Colorado’s new health care exchange, an online marketplace offering more than 500 policies, experienced problems Monday morning just hours after it went live, as did exchanges in other states.

While opponents of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s landmark health care reform law, viewed the news as evidence the law isn’t ready for primetime, backers of the law argued that the high demand, which they blame for overwhelming computer servers, shows that the law is actually quite popular. [Pols emphasis]

In Colorado, it's undeniably a bipartisan success–even if Republicans who helped create the exchange in Colorado would probably rather not take credit for that today. Remember, today is only the first day the exchange is live for the public to see. Insurance purchased through the exchange takes effect on January 1st of next year, and Coloradans have until December 15th to sign up. Today's startup glitches will get worked out, and we expect there will be a day soon when Rep. Amy Stephens will be delighted to refer to Connect for Health Colorado by its once-derisive name "Amycare."

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. n3bn3b says:

    Aaaaand that's why Amy Stephens won't be a Senator. Nice try, Pols.

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    If anything, it's wrong to saddle the exchanges with the label Obamacare. The exchanges have always been one of the more reasonable and popular aspects of the PPACA, as opposed to bad ideas like the mandate and the medical device tax. Just ask the NFIB, the group that backed the exchanges but tried to stop Obamacare. Often these things just don't fit neatly into a partisan box.

    You're right to thank Amy Stephens though. I hope you keep that up! :)

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Twelve months from now, their won't be a single nitwit . . . er, I mean, Republican . . . politician left that won't be whining about anyone using the term "Obamacare" for the ACA — it's popularity with the American public will have been cemented.

      They'll be insisting it be called "RomneyCare," or "HeritageCare," or "FreedomCare" . . .

       

    • ajb says:

      OK, Mod, how do you square the exchanges, with their rules about no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, with no mandate? How is that supposed to work?

      • ModeratusModeratus says:

        The exchanges can certainly work without a mandate, the risk pooling principle is the same. I don't disagree with reforms for pre-existing conditions, but you can't go so far that you remove the ability of insurance firms to manage risk. That's what Obamacare does, and I predict the mandate won't be enough to hold it together.

    • BlueCat says:

      So it's wrong to call the parts of ACA you like by the nickname Obamacare? We're suppose to help you guys pretend the good stuff isn't Obamacare? 

      Speaking of,  reminds me of a strange thing I saw on TV today. One of those street interview pieces. It showed a few professional looking, well heeled women being asked "Which do you support…. the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare?" 

      With no hesitation they said the Affordable Care Act, obviously with no clue that the two were the same thing.  So it looks like Obama deciding to accept the nickname was not such a great decision. When pressed as to why they preferred ACA to Obamacare they all basically said there's lots of great stuff in ACA but too much stuff they didn't agree with in Obamacare. Sigh…

      So all you Dem pols out there, whenever you get in front of a camera or mic and are asked about Obamacare could you please first point out that Obamacare is just a nickname for the Affordable Care Act? That it's the same thing? If those interviews are any indication you'd get polled approval moving up instantly.

      Regardless, the approximately 30 Republican Reps (that's right. Just about 30 are responsible for the shut down. The rest are just too afraid of being primaried from the right to stand up to them) who are diehards on this couldn't stop it even though they did manage to get my brother, sister-in-law and niece furloughed, got kids locked out of those Head Starts with an Oct 1 yearly funding date, almost got a group of the dwindling remaining WWII vets barred from seeing the WWII Memorial and all kinds of other nasty, dangerous and cruel stuff. 

      Because they couldn't stop it, even though even educated affluent people are ignorant as hell, Dems made some major messaging mistakes along the way and of course any internet roll out on this scale is going to have some initial glitches,  ACA is going to wind up being accepted and used willingly as a matter of course just like Medicare and Social Security. It probably will eventually lead to a public option and a true national guaranteed healthcare package some day, too. The tipping point got closer the second Oct 1 arrived. So the wackiest 30 didn't even get what they've been telling everyone was their top priority, the thing they mustn't fail to achieve, after busting up the joint.

      As for Amy, in today's atmosphere is being complimented for bi-partisan fraternization the kiss of death?  

      • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

        I'd say that just the very fact you can legitimately characterize the wingnuts reaction to any accomodation of opposing views as "fraternization" shows the depths to which they've sunk and drug a good share of the rest of society and the body politic down with them.One can only hope the electorate recognizes she has the best interests of the state and nation in mind and I believe the electorate colectively is much smarter than wingnuts would give them credit for.

  3. vertigo700 says:

    Do we really need to caption Rep. Stephens photo as R-Focus on the Family? I know this isn't a snark-free zone, but we are trying to celebrate and encourage this bipartisanship in Colorado, right? Do we really need the snarky caption, even if it might be technically true? (Does Stephens' district include Focus on the Family's headquarters?)

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Amy did work for Focus on the Family for a while, vertigo, about six months if memory serves, so the link is a bit more than it just being in her district.

       

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        Six months? Stephens worked for FotF for TEN YEARS. She was their "public policy and youth culture specialist."

        Sorry, vertigo, but the shoe fits.

        • vertigo700 says:

          Fair enough…I didn't know her history with the organization. I actually am enrolling for the new health insurance exchanges as I type this (site has been wonky all day). So I am pretty grateful that Colorado was one of the states that really embrased expanded insurance coverage and happy to give thanks to any legislator that helped make that happen.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Stephens did have enough guts to do a health care Q&A with Senator Max Tyler at a liberal UU church forum in Jefferson County. I give her respect and credit for at least meeting with her constituents, and being willing to compromise for the public interest.

  5. Littletonian says:

    Unfortunately, the Connect for Health Colorado site has been down more or less all day…

  6. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Someone sent this to me today on Facebook, I can't get the image to copy but here's the address:http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/01/1242950/-ACA-Post-This-EVERYWHERE If you support the ACA (and most of us seem to) please consider posting this on whichever social media sites you use.

    Dammit! I can't  get a hotlink either, but this address can be copied and pasted to get you to the poster it refers to.

  7. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Hey! When I posted the message above the link worked! Hope someone finds it useful.

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