Bill to repeal Colorado health exchange fails at Legislature

Photo: Connect For Health Colorado walk-in client (AP Photo)
An employee of Connect For Health Colorado, the state's health care exchange, explains options and procedures to a walk in client signing up for insurance, in Denver, Monday March. 31, 2014.

Democrats on a key health committee turned back, by a 7-6 party-line vote, a Republican attempt to repeal the state's health exchange after about 4 hours of testimony from both sides on Thursday.

Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, sponsored the bill that would have repealed Connect for Health Colorado. He said the exchange has had many problems and isn’t working well.

"So we are kind of a small part of a big puzzle here," Joshi said. "At some point, we need to do something. And unless you get rid of something, you can’t put something new in its place."

But Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, defend the exchange.

“If we got rid of the exchange now, what would you do? How would you replace it?” she said.

The bill was one of several Republican bills aimed targeting the exchange.