4 numbers that explain the $165 million funding controversy around Gov. Polis’ reinsurance program

Colorado lawmakers clashed Wednesday with one another over the true cost of one of Gov. Jared Polis’ signature legislative accomplishments, turning the normally stoic chambers of the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee into a theater of grimacing faces.

Skeptics of the state’s new reinsurance program — which is reducing what thousands of people across Colorado who buy their own health insurance will pay for coverage next year — raised questions over whether it is an efficient way to spend money. One lawmaker called the budget projections for the program a “whiff,” before walking back his rhetoric. Meanwhile, lawmakers who sponsored the reinsurance plan defended the program and its budgeting, and they lobbied legislative budget writers to wait before making any decisions about its continued funding.

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