Will Gardner slip by reporters again on Planned Parenthood?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner built his political career in Colorado, and rallied grassroots Republican support, by opposing abortion, even for rape and incest. Part of that, of course, has meant that he’s opposed and vilified Planned Parenthood.

Now it appears that the Senate’s Obamacare-replacement legislation would remove federal funds for Planned Parenthood, just like the House version did.

And you’d expect Gardner to be fully on board with this.

After he voted to defund Planned Parenthood two years ago, Gardner said,

“We voted to take the money from Planned Parenthood and distribute it to the community health clinics around the state of Colorado,” Gardner told KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis in 2015.

He said the move would provide “more access” to men and women across the state, even though many low-income woman want to go to Planned Parenthood clinics for specific and understandable reasons, like privacy, trust, and convenience.

And even though no federal funds are used for abortions at Planned Parenthood, the organization provides abortions. In contrast, community health centers don’t offer abortion services that many woman obviously want available at their clinic of choice in the year 2017.

But Gardner apparently doesn’t think women care. When confronted with his extreme anti-choice positions during the 2014 election, Gardner responded by saying Democrat Mark Udall was trying to “distract voters” from the real issues.

Now Gardner should face the same question from reporters. Does he think women in Colorado care about Planned Parenthood? About the U.S. Senate’s and the Republican Party’s assault on abortion rights?

Gardner may try to say his opposition to Planned Parenthood isn’t about opposition to Planned Parenthood, just like he tried to say, during his last election campaign, that his support of abortion-ban legislation wasn’t support for an abortion ban.

Despite heroic efforts by journalists to untangle Gardner’s wordpile on his support for an abortion ban, packaged at the time as “personhood,” Gardner got away with it. He’s Colorado’s Senator.

Will he slip by again on Planned Parenthood?

Buck Blasts U.S. Chamber of Commerce

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

The schism between business groups and some members of the Republican Party in Colorado came into sharp focus Saturday when U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), speaking on conservative radio, lit into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In an interview about his book Drain the Swamp, Buck was asked by KNUS 710-AM’s Chuck Bonniwell about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Listen, hour 3, at 15 min)

“They are one of the big problems in Washington DC,” replied Buck. “They affirmatively go after conservatives. Tim Huelskamp lost his seat in the western district of Kansas because of the U.S. Chamber targeting Tim as a conservative, and defeating him. They play, and they play very hard. We have some groups on the right, like Club for Growth, that also target folks. But, you know, the Chamber is a corporate cronyist organization that promotes corporate interests at the expense of conservative values. There are a lot of stories to tell about the swamp, and if I didn’t mention the Chamber, they certainly deserve to be mentioned.”

A spokesman from the Chamber promised to return my call with the Chamber’s decision on whether to respond to Buck.

Syndicated right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin, who resides in Colorado, has a similar view of the Chamber, writing in 2014. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a politically entrenched synod of special interests. These fat cats do not represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students, or Americans of any race, class, or age who believe in low taxes and limited government. The chamber’s business is the big business of the Beltway, not the business of mainstream America.”

Buck’s comments came after some Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly appeared to anger business groups by voting against a measure that classified a hospital fee as a business enterprise within the Colorado budget, freeing millions of dollars for health, transportation, and other state priorities.

After his vote against the legislation, which passed, State Sen. Ray Scott (R-Alamosa) alleged that the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce was so angry at him that the organization refused to read Scott’s letter about the General Assembly session at an annual breakfast.

Scott wrote on Facebook that he’s either “chopped liver” or, according to Scott, “they wanted to see how many would notice” [his absence from the meeting].

Gardner Still Evasive on the Real Question About Medicaid

(Roughly 1.3 million Coloradans rely on Medicaid today — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner continues to talk about making Medicaid “sustainable” and stable, but the key question Gardner needs to answer is, Will Colorado Medicaid recipients lose health insurance under the GOP’s Obamacare replacement?” And if so, how many? And how long a “glide path” until they’re cut out?

That question cuts through Gardner’s vagaries about what will happen to Medicaid under the Senate’s Obamacare-replacement bill, which Gardner is helping to draft in secret. On this topic, Gardner has said:

Gardner June 15: “If you don’t have a sustainable Medicaid program, then you risk the Medicaid programs.”

Gardner June 14 (at 9 min 30 sec). “A health care plan that focuses on … making sure that we make Medicaid sustainable and allow a program that gives greater functionality and flexibility to the sates to manage that program in a way that the states know how to do better for their people than Washington does….”

Gardner also frequently says he wants to pass a law that’s “better than Obamacare.”

Great. But in the name of alleged improvement, sustainability, and stability, how many Coloradans will lose health insurance?

About 400,000 Coloradans gained insurance under Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to include adults, without children, who earn less than $16,000 per year. Under the Obamacare-replacement bill passed by the U.S. House, 14 million Medicaid recipients would lose coverage within a year, and 12 million more would be dropped within 10 years. Within five years, most of the 400,000 who gained insurance in Colorado are expected to lose it.

Back in March, Gardner was tagged as a defender or Medicaid when he signed a letter, along with Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, stating that “we will not support a [Obamacare replacement] plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states.”

Again, the key question is, how many Coloradans will lose coverage in the name of “stability?”

Gardner links protests at his office with the shooting in Washington DC

(Does this mean they’re not “paid protesters” anymore? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In an appearance on conservative radio Thursday, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner pointed to prop-filled protests at his office as examples of rhetoric that should be toned down in the wake of  Wednesday’s shooting in Washington DC.

In an apparent reference to die-ins and other demonstrations staged in front of Gardner’s office to illustrate the point that GOP Obamacare replacement would actually result in deaths of people who lose health insurance, Gardner linked the DC shooting to “people showing up with coffins in offices around the country” and “people showing up dressed as the Grim Reaper with — you know, in my office.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking comment.

Since Trump’s victory in November, activist groups have staged die-ins in front of Gardner’s office. One May 9 “die in,”  organized by Protect Our Care Colorado, Denver OFA, and Front Range MoveOn, was promoted on Facebook this way:

“Bring your signs and noisemakers and wear slings, back braces, and other visual reminders that Trumpcare will seriously injure our country’s health care system! Feel free to dress in black and bring posters written like gravestones that list the reason you died: (i.e., RIP: Lack of Maternity Care, RIP: Coverage Denied, RIP: High Premiums, RIP: Cancer, Denied Coverage).”

Other Denver-based activist groups, including Indivisible Denver, have staged die-ins and funerals at the State Capitol to oppose the repeal of Obamacare and other Trump initiatives.

Activist group representatives could not be reached for comment Friday.

It’s a fact that, along with the loss of health insurance resulting from the repeal of Obamacare, would come deaths. Experts differ on the scope and the trade-offs involved, but it’s objectively a legitimate point being made protesters with props and costumes, which are clearly aimed at grabbing attention. And for good reason, activists say.

On the radio, Gardner didn’t address deaths that would be caused by potential Obamacare repeal.

“You’ve got people in coffins showing up to the offices,” Gardner told KCOL’s morning host Jimmy Lakey Thursday. “It’s almost as if they’ve allowed politics to become some sort of religion, and anyone who disagrees with them is a challenge to their faith. That is not a good situation for the discourse of this country.”

Asked by KNUS 710-AM’s Krista Kafer whether the “nasty political rhetoric the cause of this type of violence,” Gardner said, “We’ve got more to learn.” He went on to say,

Gardner: You know, The Hill is reporting that FBI officials told The Hill that the shooting appeared to have been planned and, on the surface, appeared politically motivated. And you know, that the rhetoric, the discourse, is elevated to a point where, you know, left, right—you know, both sides have to stop this rhetoric. I mean, when you have people showing up dressed as the Grim Reaper with — you know, in my office, — when we have people showing up with coffins in offices around the country, when you have people holding up the head of the president — decapitated head of the president, when you — you know, when you have people who are, you know, accusing other people of killing people.

In 2009, Tea Party activists dressed as the Grim Reaper to denounce Obamacare and the liberal agenda.


Gardner promised Obamacare replacement wouldn’t be drafted “behind closed doors”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

During a conference call in February, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner assured worried constituents that they would have plenty of opportunities to weigh in on any legislation to replace Obamacare.

“It’s important to me that this debate be open and that the American people see what’s happening and taking place,” said Gardner. “So Sandy, I think as this committee hearings and legislation is being is drafted, it’s not going to be something behind closed doors, everybody is going to be a part of it. It’s important that we get this right.”

Now, about four months later, the Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate, which includes Gardner himself, has no plans to hold public hearings on their Obamacare replacement legislation, currently being drafted in secret by 13 senators, including Gardner.

As U.S. Senate President Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained this week after invoking a rule that would move the health-care bill to a full Senate vote with little or no chance for amendments:

“We’ve been dealing with this issue for seven years. It’s not a new thing,” McConnell said, arguing that there was little new left to be discussed in a public forum.

“Nobody’s hiding the ball here,” he said. “You’re free to ask anybody anything. But there have been gazillions of hearings on this subject, when they were in the majority, when we were in the majority. We understand this issue pretty well and we’re now working on coming up with a solution.”

Despite his previous promises, Gardner hasn’t objected to the secrecy–and it doesn’t appear that reporters have asked him about it.

But U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has objected, saying she “has a problem with it” and the secrecy is “just not a good way to handle something that is as significant and important as health care.”

In fact, Gardner has said very little of substance about the senate bill. But based on what he has said, he’s apparently not fighting to keep 400,000 Coloradans on the Obamacare health insurance rolls but instead is advocating for throwing them off slowly, in a “glide path.”

Gardner is doubling down on hypocrisy here, because he’s been apoplectic for years over what he says was Democrats’ failure to offer sufficient public input into the formulation of Obamacare, even though, in 2009 with Democrats in control, the full U.S. Senate debated the Obamacare bill for 25 straight days, the Senate Health Committee held 60 hours of public hearings, and the Senate Finance Committee considered 130 amendments and held 79 roll-call votes.

“This President [Obama] has claimed to be one of the most transparent in history, yet his health care overhaul was passed behind closed doors and ended up cutting $500 billion from Medicare,” Gardner said in 2013. “The American people deserve better than that.”

And Gardner repeated this false accusation just three months ago on KNUS 710-AM.

“This is an idea [the Obamacare replacement] that will go through regular order, through committees, and have an opportunity to be openly debated and talked about — something that is completely different than what happened six years ago when the Affordable Care Act was written behind closed doors and the leadership offices, and then crammed down on the Senate floor directly,” Gardner told KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger. “So, this is something that is going to go through an open process — regular order.”

Gardner is in a good position to influence the senate’s health-care bill, not only due to his Senate leadership role but also as a member of the committee of 13 senators selected by McConnell that’s drafting the senate’s Obamacare replacement in secret. Gardner was among a group of senators who had lunch with Trump Tuesday to discuss the legislation.

Gardner continued to keep his cards close to his chest this week, saying he’s not seen any text of the bill and not offering any details.

It appears that Senate Republicans plan to send their legislation to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for a “score.” A quick vote by the House Republicans last month came before the CBO analysis, which later showed that 14 million more people uninsured next year and 12 million more within 10 years.

On conservative talk radio in March, Gardner suggested that the dismantlement of Obamacare should begin without a CBO analysis, thus avoiding public outcry over the prospect of so many people losing health insurance.


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.

“I want to be a ‘person of interest,'” writes Colorado Trump official

(Career aspirations! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Former Colorado Trump Campaign staffer Dede Laugesen replied to my request for clarification of her Facebook post below: “Facebook is a place of friendly comments and such, and I was just making an off-the-cuff remark about what it must be like to be a celebrity like Nigil Farage,” said Laugesen. “That’s all.”


At this point, you’d think no one in the Trump campaign is running around saying, “I want to be a ‘person of interest.'”

But wait, there is such a person, and her name is Dede Laugesen, the Trump Campaign’s Colorado Coalitions Director.

She’s been on Facebook promoting the June 17 appearance in Colorado of Nigel Farage, the Brexit leader who’s reportedly a “person of interest” in FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the last election.

In one post promoting Farage, obtained from a source,  Laugesen wrote, “I want to be a ‘person of interest’! That’s why I’m going to learn from the master himself. Nigel Farage visits Colorado June 17.”

Laguesen did not return a call seeking clarification, so I’m forced to speculate here, but if Laugesen is joking, it symbolizes the extent to which the Trump campaign itself isn’t taking the FBI investigation–or the attack by Russia on our elections–seriously.

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) showed the same indifference when he recently told a conservative radio station that journalists are “inventing this Russia story.” So did U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) when he suggested in February that the FBI should be investigated for Russia-related leaks.

If it’s not a joke, then you wonder if Laugesen knows why Farage is reportedly a person of interest. After all, she says she wants to learn from him. I mean, Laugesen was Trump’s Colorado coalitions director. Did the coalition include Russia?

That’s a serious question for a Trump official who’s telling the world she wants to be a person of interest in the FBI’s investigation of the president’s election campaign. I’m sorry, this is not a joking matter.

Gardner defends Trump nominee who wrote that Muslims have a “deficient theology”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

During a congressional hearing yesterday, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) defended a Trump nominee who wrote that Islam is a “deficient theology.”

“Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology,” Russell Vought, Trump’s nominee for an OMB post, wrote on a conservative blog last year. “They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont put a series of direct questions to Vought, as reported by Jennifer Bendery at the Huffington Post:

Such a statement is “indefensible, it is hateful and Islamophobic, and an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world,” Sanders told the room. He asked Vought, who sat facing him, if he thinks his past comments are Islamophobic.

“Absolutely not,” replied Vought, a former vice president of the conservative Heritage Action for America. “I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post … was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation.”

Gardner responded by defending Vought’s right to interpret his Christian faith, according to the Huffington Post report:

Fellow committee member Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) scolded Sanders, indirectly, by saying through gritted teeth that he hopes his colleagues “are not questioning the faith of others and how they interpret their faith to themselves.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) later told Gardner he didn’t think Sanders was questioning anybody’s faith but rather “the nominee” was questioning the faith of others.

State senator alleges that local chamber “refused” to read his statement at annual breakfast

scott on gj chamber

Jon Caldara’s sniffling Denver Post op-ed last month, decrying fellow Republicans who voted to save rural hospitals via a budget maneuver, prompted ColoradoPols to write a post headlined, “World’s smallest violin plays for legislative loser Jon Caldara.”

But, in case you missed it, Caldara took heat from fellow Republicans too, such as State Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa), who wrote a letter to The Post in response to Caldara, who heads up the conservative/libertarian Independence Institute.

Crowder pointed out that doing nothing would have resulted in “demise and closure of a vast number of these rural hospitals.”

Crowder took issue with Caldara for thanking Republicans who voted against the measure, which reclassified the “hosptital provider fee” as a business under TABOR.

Caldara: Let me thank the courageous Republican senators who stood up to leadership and the pressure cooker of the takings coalition and voted no: John Cooke, Chris Holbert, Kent Lambert, Kevin Lundberg, Vicki Marble, Beth Martinez-Humenik, Tim Neville, Ray Scott and Jim Smallwood. Heroes all.

Crowder: The lawmakers Jon Caldara thanked for voting against the bill all happen to represent metropolitan areas, where hospitals are big business. But that isn’t true for rural hospitals, many of which are just trying to stay open. Closure of these facilities would mean real hardship for rural Colorado.

But Republican state senators who voted against the reclassification of the HPF were doing more than rejecting the painful cries from rural hospitals.

They were turning their backs on pretty much the entire business community, with deep ties to Republicans, which stood together in favor of the HPF reclassification. Recall this list of biz groups that backed the HPF reclassification last year.

So, it’s no surprise that State Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction), is apparently a persona non grata at the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce these days.

In a recent Facebook post, Scott wrote that the GJ Chamber “refused” to read his statement at their annual breakfast because, Scott wrote, he’s “chopped liver or they wanted to see how many would notice.”

Scott posted his rejected statement, which stated that “cities and counties put immense pressure on legislators to help fulfill their budget demands especially in the 44 counties that are distressed as Mesa County is. It was so hard to say no to many times but the reality is the state budget has been a runaway train for 12 years are we are tasked with holding the line.”

Scott, who was unable to attend the Grand Junction Chamber’s event, went on to blame Democrats for the budget problem, but he didn’t mention that some of his fellow Republicans, like Crowder, inched toward a solution. While Scott’s success was getting thanked by Caldara in The Denver Post.

Punish journalists and government officials for Russia story, says former candidate for U.S. Senate

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A Republican who ran for U.S. Senate last year in Colorado stated on Facebook this week that “The whole Trump colluded with Russia line is BS.”

Colorado businessman Jerry Natividad, who once defended Trump’s widely publicized comments about undocumented immigrants being “rapists,” recommended that journalists and government officials should be punished for “pushing” the Russia collusion story.

“Heads should roll in government and media for pushing it,” Natividad added in his Facebook message.

Credible news stories about Russian interference in the 2016 election do not claim Trump colluded with Russia, but instead reporters are covering the investigation into whether the Trump campaign, with our without Trump’s involvement, colluded with Russian hackers and others.

A call seeking an explanation from Natividad was not returned.

Natividad’s comments reflect those of U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who said last month that the news media is “inventing this Russia story.

Denver talk-radio host calls body-slammed reporter a “little jerk”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT).

“I’m sorry, but what a meterosexual. Have you ever heard a bigger meterosexual?” said Denver KNUS 710-AM’s Chuck Bonniwell, mocking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who was body slammed by Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT).

“In the real world of men, men, men,” Bonniwell continued, “you, know, it’s inappropriate. You go, ‘You owe me an apology.’ And Gianforte did give him an apology the next day. And that would be the end of it.”

Bonniwell runs newspapers in the Glendale and Cherry Creek. So you’d have thought there might be a chance he’d actually take the side of journalism here.

“I got in lots of fights, as an adult,” said Bonniwell on air. “My reaction, if somebody shoved me, would be shove ‘em back. But I would never say, ‘You broke my glasses.’”

Bonniwell called Jacobs a “little jerk,” saying he got what he deserved.

How did we get here? Listening to the audio won’t help you understand.

Radio host warns against “living next door” to a Muslim

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Pick a day on Denver talk radio, and you’ll find Muslims under attack in the most heartbreaking, insulting, and ignorant ways.

The audience is small but the bigotry is too real to ignore with Trump in the White House. More people need to know this is happening here, in Denver, our home, so we can be ready to help our Muslim neighbors if they come under even more serious attack or discrimination.

The latest example oozes from KLZ 560-AM, which describes itself as “dedicated to upholding this country’s Judeo-Christian roots” and “committed to serving God and country, upholding traditional American values such as freedom, justice, honesty, and respect.”

If you caught the station’s afternoon show, called Rush to Reason, this is what you heard:

John Rush @2 min 15 sec below: Those out there predicting that the Muslim faith–I don’t want to call it af faith because I don’t think it is–Those that believe in the Muslim world, telling you that there are a bunch of peace-loving Muslims running around that are waiting to shake your hand and help you out, I don’t think so…. Trust me, they are not going to stop until we stop them or they take the world over, one of the two. Those are the only two answers, folks.

There is nothing in between. There is none of this,  living next door to one and thinking everything is going to work out great. It’s not how it’s going to happen, folks.

It’s obvious that all religions, including Christianity and Islam, rely on interpretations. Here’s what Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and author of Journey into America, told me couple years ago:

“In Islam, god in the Koran has 99 attributes, 99 names, and the two names that god uses all the time to define himself, and we use to define god, are compassion and mercy. So god’s justice reflects god’s compassion and mercy.”

The bigots on the radio are going to take a lot of work before they accept the fact that Islam is no different than any other religion. Meanwhile, we have to be ready in case Trump, John Rush,  or anyone comes after the Muslims in our community. ProgressNow Colorado has set up a “rapid response” network to respond to Trump and his allies. Sign up here.

Offering no solution for millions who stand to lose insurance, Gardner maintains that Obamacare must be replaced

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In what appear to be his most extensive comments on the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 23 million Americans would lose health insurance under the House Republicans’ bill to replace Obamacare, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) expressed no alarm over the finding, maintaining instead that Obamacare must be replaced and that “shortcomings” in the House bill will be taken care of.

But he offered only the vaguest ideas, which provide no basis for substantive judgement, on how this would be accomplished. (listen: May 25, hour 1)

“I think this gives the Senate a good look at what the House bill did, so that we can draft a policy that will actually do the job to replace the Affordable Care Act,” Gardner old KDMT 1690-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger yesterday. “There’s a number of ideas that we’re talking about, that will be a solution to some of the shortcomings of the House bill, the bottom line being, thought, we need to be able to reduce the cost of insurance to Americans around the country. And we do so by allowing them to buy the insurance policy that they want to buy.”

Asked by Sengenberger for an explanation of how the Senate aims to accomplish this, Gardner told Sengenberger that he and his colleagues are looking at adjusting the tax credits proposed in the House bill.

Gardner: I think what members of the Senate are talking about is how to adjust the tax credit to make it accountable to more of an income means tested manner. So, if you’re older, or you have more health problems, you’ll get more assistance. If you’re younger, and you have higher income, that may mean the tax credit is a little bit lower — less tax credit because you don’t need the assistance of somebody who may have lower income or who may be older, or [in] a little bit less-good health. So we can put those tax credits to reflect the needs of the population.

Gardner also pointed to the idea, proposed repeatedly by Republicans, of allowing for insurance to be sold across state lines.

And he said he wants to push people who currently buy insurance on the higher-priced individual market into group health-insurance plans, which are cheaper. But he gave no details on how this would be done–particularly at a time when employers are shedding benefits packages that include health insurance.

Gardner: “There’s talk of insurance programs that would allow [the sale of] insurance across state lines, association health plans, to get people into group plans, to get people into employer-based plans.

What we’re talking about with the individual market is only about 6 percent of the people who are covered by health insurance. So we can restore competitiveness into the health marketplace, and into individual marketplace for health insurance, and then do everything we can to try to help grow this pool of people in group insurance through employer-based coverage because that’s where most people get their insurance through anyway.

And then we can help start using technology and other means to drive down the cost, overall.

So those are some of the ideas that we’re going to focus on. Health savings accounts, the tax credits, — you know– how do we make sure that states have the right flexibilities and functionalities needed, if they take over Medicaid, so that they can be better responsive to the needs of their state’s population, those are all parts of the Senate conversation.

Gardner says Obama and Trump budgets faced similar opposition in Congress

In a radio appearance this morning, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) compared the opposition to Trump’s proposed budget to challenges faced by “every president’s budget.”

“Like every president’s budget, it is met with significant challenges on Capitol Hill. I think President Obama’s budgets over eight years probably gathered a cumulative handful of votes in support of it, maybe less than 10 votes in eight years,” Gardner told KOA 850-AM’s April Zesbaugh. “Every president puts forward a budget, and then Congress under the Constitution writes the budget and the appropriations bills that we have.”

Gardner praised Trump for increasing military spending and said he’d “keep an eye” on funding for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as “we work to reverse some of the changes the Trump budget made.”

Gardner made no mention of Trump’s budget proposal to cut multiple programs for the poor, including $800 billion from Medicaid, the state-federal health-insurance program for low-income people.

Trump’s budget, which partially funds a U.S.-Mexico border wall, also cuts student loans, food stamps, disability assistance, and more.

The New York Times described the Trump budget as encapsulating “much of the ‘America first’ message that powered Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

Listen to Gardner here:

Trump thanked for “giving up billionaire lifestyle” to “save the American people”

(With a straight face – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Donald Trump.

The Chaffee County Republicans posted a meme on their Facebook page this week featuring a photo of President Donald with the text, “TRUMP, the man that gave up his billionaire lifestyle to be humiliated and ridiculed and slandered in order to save the American people.”

“It’s good to see Donald Trump tearing down the established Old Guard Republican Party and calling out the Socialists that have hijacked the Democratic Party,” wrote the Chaffee Republicans in a comment above the meme.

Trump has been criticized for numerous actions, such as his request of former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired, to drop the FBI investigation of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who later resigned.

But Trump’s highest profile critics haven’t been accused of slander.

A message left for the Chaffee GOP was not responded to.

The accusation of slander may be connected by the belief by some, like U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, that Trump has been the object of unfair media coverage. Buck stated recently that journalists are “inventing this Russia story.” However, there’s no evidence that Buck has asked journalists to correct their reporting on Russia. And technically, a newspaper would be subject to libel.

However, Trump has endured endless ridicule on late-night TV and elsewhere, with many, including Trump himself, suggesting that NBC’s Stephen Colbert is enjoying a ratings surge due to his skewering of Trump.

The strong support of Trump is a theme on the Chaffee GOP Facebook page. Another post reads:

The hysteria on the hard left should energizes us to stay involved and increase our efforts to take back America from the socialistic influence of the last 8 years!

Socialism is birthed in hatred and greed!

The United States of America is the strongest nation on earth, because it has had a united people, until recently! But we are getting dangerously close to Socialism, because a godless ideology has gained a stronghold in our educational system, the media and Hollywood, those tools are being used to persuade people that America is not great and to promote mistrust and hatred between races, between classes of people and a hatred toward the rule of law!

The goal is to divide America so that it will fail and then the one world crowd, the ruling elite can have full power over the masses! That is not good for our children and grandchildren, in fact it is the worst form of slavery!