According to local reports, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) pressured the Colorado Division of Insurance to change its estimate of how many private insurance plans had been cancelled in November 2013, as the Obama administration faced crisis over cancellations across the country. The agency had reported 249,000 state cancellations.
A November 14, 2013 email from Jo Donlin, Director of External Affairs at the Department of Regulatory Agencies at the Division of Insurance, states, “Sen. Udall says our numbers were wrong. They are not wrong. Cancellation notices affected 249,199 people. They want to trash our numbers. I’m holding strong while we get more details. Many have already done early renewals. Regardless, they received cancellation notices.” The numbers were originally released on November 6. The day before the email was sent by Donlin, President Obama said that Americans would be able to keep their cancelled individual insurance plans.
Donlin then told Udall’s staff exactly how the Department had arrived at these numbers, and gave the same information to the Department of Insurance and Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO). She wrote, “Following my e-mail, I received a very hostile phone call from Sen. Udall’s deputy chief of staff. Marguerite is on the phone with his chief of staff right now.” A Udall staffer wrote that same day, “We need to move on this ASAP – or we’ll be forced to challenge the 249k number ourselves. It is wildly of or at least very misleading and reporters keep repeating it.”