NRSC Is Now FOIA’ing The LA Dept. Of Insurance

In an interesting bit of political maneuvering, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is working to blow open a controversy springing up in Colorado to see if it can affect the Mary Landrieu re-election race in Louisiana. To wit…

If a traffic jam is worthy of dominating the national news for more than a week, then surely a Senator trying to bully officials into lying to the five million people of his state about their health care is worthy of some attention.

Last week it was revealed that Democratic Senator Mark Udall and his staff tried to pressure the Colorado Division of Insurance to cook the books and revise health insurance cancellations resulting from ObamaCare. The Denver Post reported that internal emails reveal that workers at the Colorado’s Division of Insurance “felt intimidated” by Udall’s office. In contrast to Governor Christie, who swiftly dealt with his own staff, Mark Udall shockingly defended the bullying tactics used by his office.

In the wake of this scandal, it has been learned that far more Coloradans received health insurance cancellation notices than previously reported. Previously, the Colorado Division of Insurance has claimed that nearly 250,000 Coloradans were notified that their health insurance plans had been cancelled.  In a letter sent this week to Congressman Cory Gardner by Marguerite Salazar, (Colorado’s Commissioner of Insurance), it was revealed that 335,484 people with individual or small group coverage were affected by cancellation notices.

Amid reports in Colorado that Senator Udall’s office may have attempted to coerce the Division of Insurance into manipulating the number of insurance cancellations due to ObamaCare to a lower, inaccurate number, the NRSC filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with other state Division of Insurance agencies to ensure this has not happened elsewhere, including: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia.

Allegations that a Senator’s office sought to pressure state employees to manipulate data are very serious which is why Rob Collins, Executive Director of the NRSC, today sent a letter to Senator Udall calling for greater transparency than his office has thus far granted. Collins writes that while the FOIA does not provide a right of access to records held by Congress, it does not prohibit Udall from voluntarily disclosing relevant documents relating to this matter.  Collins reminds the Senator that throughout his career Udall has “claimed to be a fierce proponent of transparency” and challenges Udall to publicly release all of his office’s correspondence with the Division of Insurance staff regarding this matter. If there is nothing to hide, Udall’s office should release any and all documents including phone logs, written correspondence and emails regarding this matter.

Udall’s office has not yet responded to us regarding the letter.

It is unknown if other Democratic Senators feeling ObamaCare pressure acted in similar fashion, but it won’t take long for Freedom of Information Act Requests to reveal the truth.

Since Louisiana has a Republican Commissioner of Insurance in Jim Donelon, there isn’t much reason to think Landrieu would be able to pressure him to hide the real Obamacare numbers like Udall did in Colorado.

Still, if she sent any correspondence to Donelon which could be interpreted in such a way, that could be a gold mine for the NRSC as it attempts to make her re-election bid as difficult as possible.

The guess here is this won’t come to anything. But one never knows…

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