Yesterday, as we and not very many other people reported, large protests outside Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver and Greeley offices called on Gardner to protect the expansion of access to health coverage created by the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. “Obamacare.” In Washington, D.C., the process of repealing the law has already begun–actions that are going to have a very large effect on thousands of Coloradans, very likely a negative effect as health coverage they’ve obtained through the law is put in jeopardy.
Sen. Gardner will play a major role in the repeal of Obamacare–but you wouldn’t know that from local news coverage, where Gardner is drawing a pass both from having to comment and from coverage of protests against repeal. But syndicated television news source Grey DC once again scoops local reporters:
Colorado Senator Cory Gardner says Republicans will be ready to replace.
“When it’s repealed it will be replaced there is no doubt it will be replaced with an idea that is better than the disastrous results of Obama care,” Gardner (R-CO) said. [Pols emphasis]
Everybody take note, this is Sen. Gardner promising to have the Obamacare replacement ready at the time of repeal–something Republicans are by no means unanimous on, and may well prove impossible both practically and politically.
Meaning it’s important, and the local press should be telling you about it.
Meanwhile, Vox’s Sarah Kliff expounded a little on her run-in with Sen. Gardner yesterday, which ended with Gardner running away rather than answering whether a replacement plan would cover as many people as Obamacare:
I spent Tuesday on Capitol Hill, talking to Senate Republicans about whether they expected their replacement plans to cover as many people as the Affordable Care Act. The answers were … not plentiful.
I put the question to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who told me, “We’ve got to have a plan that is better than Obamacare. Obamacare has failed on its initial goals, the promises that were made, so I look forward to having a plan in place that will actually work for the American people.” I repeated the question about coverage specifically, at which point he turned around and walked away.
The biggest reason Gardner’s ongoing promises and statements about Obamacare repeal and replacement need to be reported locally now is the strong likelihood they will be misreported down the road. In terms of offering a replacement “better” than Obamacare in the ways health care consumers will care about–and certainly on the dicey question of having a replacement ready to go along with repeal–Gardner is making promises that he simply doesn’t have the power to ensure are kept.
In the likely event that happens, voters need to know. And they won’t know unless they know he made the promise to begin with. So please, local reporters. Do your damn jobs. It’s always important, but right now it’s critical.
You might even say lives hang in the balance.