Gardner Wants To End, Not Protect, Insurance Coverage For 400,000 Coloradans

(Words mean things – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Back in March, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner joined fellow Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, in stating that “we will not support a [Obamacare replacement] plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states.”

Since then, Portman and Capito have added a measure of definition to this vague statement by endorsing a seven-year phaseout of Obama’s Medicaid expansion, which provided over 400,00 Coloradans with health insurance. Portman called it a “glide path” that would gradually reduce federal Medicaid funding to the states beginning in 2020.

But Murkowski and Gardner are refusing to discuss their current thinking on the Medicaid expansion. The Hill asked Murkowski twice last week if she’d agree to a gradual phaseout, and she declined to say.

In May, Gardner declined to answer a direct question from The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews about whether he supports the plan, in the Obamacare replacement bill passed by the House, to begin the Medicaid-expansion phaseout in 2020.

But Gardner did tell Matthews,“We need to have a glide path that works for the states.”

In the absence of more details from Gardner, journalists are on solid ground reporting that Gardner is on board with ending the Obamacare Medicaid program that covers over 400,000 Coloradans. The only question is the time frame, the number of years in the glide path.

And journalists are also completely justified in reporting that Gardner’s phaseout doesn’t square Gardner’s promise to defend the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, as stated in the The Denver Post’s March 6 article headlined, “Sen. Cory Gardner defends Medicaid expansion as GOP reveals Obamacare replacement.”

During the 2014 campaign, and ever since the first Ryan budget introduced a partial privatization of Medicare, the often repeated message from Gardner was that making dramatic cuts to health programs was a way to protect them for future generations.

Now Gardner is talking about a “glide path.”

These sort of policy justifications can make sense within their own inverted logic, but the plain meaning of the words are likely lost on the average voter. Journalists have the burden of making sure the facts are presented alongside the spin.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Totally off base as usual. Yes, doing away with the mandate and unsustainable price supports will reduce coverage, but most of those people are being FORCED to buy coverage to begin with. It's not about universal coverage, it's about freedom to get affordable coverage if you want it.

    I trust Cory Gardner more than I will ever trust the liars who told us we could keep our plan and our premiums would drop by $2500 a year. You've already proven you lie.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Moldy, you ignorant slut:

      When Obamacare was enacted, Republicans had some claims, almost a theory, about why it was a terrible idea. It would, they claimed, fail to improve coverage. It would be a massive “job-killer”. It would cost far more than predicted, and blow up the budget deficit.

      In reality, the percentage of Americans under 65 without insurance fell from 18 percent in 2010, the year Obamacare was enacted, to 10 percent in 2016 (and less than 8 percent in Medicaid expansion states). Unemployment was 9.9 percent when the ACA was passed, 6.6 when it went into full effect, 4.8 by January 2017. Costs have come in well below expectations.

    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

      Nobody is "FORCED" to be on Medicaid, you doof.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Remember, according to Moldy, nothing was broken before Obamacare.  45,000 people died each year for lack of medical attention just as Moldy's gun-toten', tobaccey-chewin' Republican Jesus ordained!

    • unnamed says:

      Right.  "Not everything Gardner does is evil".  Right Moldy? Now, you want to make that claim, show a legitimate source that tells the whole story.  Pony up.  Or are you too chicken?

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      My premium actually went from $12,000 to $9,000. I did "have" to change plans to get the savings. 

      in Moddy world, maybe I should have been able to keep the plan that cost $12,000 per year.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      What about Assad?  You like spending $60 million dollars of taxpayer money with nothing to show for it.  Kill a few flunkies and destroy a couple of mothballed planes and zilch.

  2. DavieDavie says:

    Paul Krugman has a great column on the GOP "replacement" for the ACA:

    When Obamacare was enacted, Republicans had some claims, almost a theory, about why it was a terrible idea. It would, they claimed, fail to improve coverage. It would be a massive “job-killer”. It would cost far more than predicted, and blow up the budget deficit.

    …none of the things Republicans cited as their reason for opposing the bill have come true.

    So what’s the theory behind their proposed replacement? Where’s their analysis showing that it will be better? There’s no hint of anything on either topic. You might have expected some kind of appeal to the magic of the market, some claim that radical deregulation will produce wonderful results. It would have been silly, but at least would have shown some respect for the basic idea of analyzing policies and evaluating them by results.

    But what we’re getting instead is a raw exercise of political power: the GOP is trying to take away health care from millions and hand the savings to the wealthy simply because it can, without even a fig leaf of intellectual justification.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    I'm wondering how Gardner is going to explain his backroom dealings.  If Michael Bennet was involved in this kind of secrecy, Republicans like Moldy would be screaming about the lack of transparency.  This is the most shameless abuse of power by a political party since Nixon and that goes back 50 years.  I am so thankful that Obama had the guts to go in front of the American people and attempt to craft legislation with input from everyone.  Gardner is a bigger coward than Trump.  If Trumpcare gets enacted with the loss of coverage for millions, God is personally going to come down to the Pearly Gates when Gardner arrives and spit in his face before he sends this unChristian to Hell.  What a terrible person.

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Gardner as part of the 13 GOP AHCA secret society members should take heed:

    G.O.P. Senators Might Not Realize It, but Not One State Supports the A.H.C.A.

    It’s no secret that the American Health Care Act is unpopular. In recent national polls, only about 29 percent of Americans support the bill. It is the most unpopular piece of major legislation Congress has considered in decades — even more unloved than TARP (“the bailout”), and much more unpopular than the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

    Will Republican senators vote yes on a bill this unpopular? To hang on to their jobs, senators have to keep only voters in their own states happy, not the whole nation.

    With this said, it’s hard to know just how politically damaging supporting the A.H.C.A. would be. On the one hand, no major bill this unpopular has passed in decades, but some voters might forget about the A.H.C.A., or change their opinions, by the time some senators face re-election.

    But the picture of public support is bleak in the home states of many reported G.O.P. swing votes on the bill. In Susan Collins’s Maine, Lisa Murkowski’s Alaska, Mr. Flake and John McCain’s Arizona, Cory Gardner’s Colorado, Bill Cassidy’s Louisiana, Rob Portman’s Ohio, Lindsey Graham’s South Carolina and Mr. Heller’s Nevada, we estimate that public support is under a third, and clear pluralities oppose.

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