Federal Relations

Now Democrats are bashing California’s ObamaCare exchange, too

People sign up for health insurance information at a Covered California event which marks the opening of the state's Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly known as Obamacare, health insurance marketplace in Los Angeles, California, October 1, 2013. Technical glitches and heavy internet traffic slowed Tuesday's launch of new online insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, showcasing the challenge of covering millions of uninsured Americans. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) - RTR3FI11

People sign up for health insurance information at a Covered California event which marks the opening of the state's Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly known as Obamacare, health insurance marketplace in Los Angeles, California, October 1, 2013. Technical glitches and heavy internet traffic slowed Tuesday's launch of new online insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, showcasing the challenge of covering millions of uninsured Americans. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) - RTR3FI11  (Reuters)

California’s ObamaCare exchange, already criticized by Republicans for its finances and the odd “Tell a Friend, Get Covered” campaign, is now taking friendly fire from Democrats.

State Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican and vice chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance, said the agency will be $78 million in the red during the next fiscal year. He said he was incensed to learn that Covered California spent $1.37 million on an advertising campaign featuring a lurid Richard Simmons web stream that is now on YouTube, and he has requested an audit.

And now late Monday, Democratic Sen. Norma J. Torres introduced a bill aimed at fixing “problems experienced by consumers” – lackluster customer service, a low Latino sign-up rate and inaccuracies in the provider directory, a news release stated.

“Accountability starts at the top,” Torres tweeted Tuesday. “Covered CA customers deserve better.”

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