As the Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Roper reports, the long failure of the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act and furious backlash from his own constituents has resulted in an interesting new addition to Sen. Cory Gardner’s pitch on health care:
Gardner, a Republican who was part of the Senate GOP team that fashioned a failed Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, was targeted by the disabled community this summer to oppose reductions in the Medicaid insurance program they rely on for home health services.
Gardner said Medicaid spending in both the federal and state budgets has swollen rapidly.
“But we should be able to design protections for (the disabled) at the state level,” he said during a question period at the farm bureau meeting. [Pols emphasis]
That’s an answer he didn’t provide in June and July when disabled activists were besieging his office. Gardner said has met with those groups as well as heard from them last week in raucous town hall meetings in Greeley, Lakewood and Colorado Springs.
It may be a new addition to Gardner’s well-rehearsed talking points on health care, but coming from a U.S. Senator, the assurance that “the states” will take care of those most at risk from most from cuts to Medicaid funding is cold comfort–even dismissive of any problem. From a policy perspective Gardner is proposing nothing new, just restating that “block granting” Medicaid funding would shift the responsibility to the states to care for all segments of the Medicaid population. Slightly revised talking point, same plan.
The same plan that would have pared hundreds of billions from future spending irrespective of the growing cost of care. And would insure millions fewer people. The same plan that just failed.
If you were wondering if Gardner might have made some progress on health care during this August recess beyond the wreckage of the GOP’s last attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act–perhaps been receptive to some message he heard during his long-awaited town halls–it looks like you can stop wondering.