Gardner Goes Full Trump on Cost-Sharing “Bailouts”

UPDATE: President Trump’s decision to cut cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSR) — which Gardner apparently supports — is directly related to significant increases in healthcare costs in Colorado:


Critically, Gardner refers to these subsidies as “bailouts” for insurance companies, echoing the Trump administration’s line–and signaling clearly that Gardner will not be of assistance in moving forward a bipartisan plan to fund the CSR payments floated this week:

GARDNER: Now we know it contains a bailout to the insurance companies, I think most people across America probably don’t like the fact that we’re giving billions of dollars to insurance companies while they’re still increasing rates dramatically…

But as Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler analyzed in detail a few days ago, the claim that the cost-sharing reduction payments constitute a “bailout” in any sense the term is correctly used is completely wrong–earning the dreaded “Four Pinocchios” on their scale of falsity:

The CSRs were in addition to the premium tax credits received by people making less than 400 percent of the poverty line. (The tax credits were available for any level of plan.) The intent was to make it easier for low-income people to afford the cost of health insurance…

CSRs are not a bailout for insurance companies. A bailout means a company is being propped up with government money after making bad decisions. That’s not the case here…Insurance companies don’t make money through cost-sharing — they are being paid back for money they’ve already spent on behalf of people who purchased their health plans. The president either doesn’t understand the process or is being purposely misleading.

If it’s true that President Trump “either doesn’t understand the process or is being purposely misleading” when he called the CSR payments a “bailout,” it’s true of Cory Gardner as well. In Gardner’s case, we’re not inclined to presume ignorance. In the clip above, Gardner smiles as he refers to the CSR payments as a “bailout,” almost like he knows what he’s saying is nonsense and is a little embarrassed by it.

If so, it’s because he should be. It may not be a surprise at this point for Gardner to echo Trump’s already-proven lies, but it’s pretty galling. For everyone who defended Gardner as “a different kind of Republican” in 2014, this should be the breaking point if they haven’t already reached one.

Because these are just not the words honest people use.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    So it turns out the Buffoon-in-Chief and his Buffoon-lite Koch-sucker may be chanting "Curses, foiled again!" when they get a load of this news:

    Trump’s Attack on Insurer ‘Gravy Train’ Could Actually Help a Lot of Consumers

    It even has the effect of increasing the deficit — something Republican economic theory ignores (ha ha, the Laffer Curve), but always is the net result when they get their hands on the steering wheel.

    (the next time you see Gardner, you should say, “pardon me Senator, I think you got some buffoon on your tie”)

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      They need to get #ProsperityJesus' hands back on the wheel and drive the TrickleDownOn ClownCar over the finish line.  P-Jesus' one-percenters are dying here.  Dying.  They need relief.  What's a few dead poor people when there is billions at stake for their donors? 

  2. PKolbenschlag says:

    You can gauge his ability to dodge questions on the subject tomorrow! 

    Tomorrow at 10am MT, I will be calling my constituents to discuss tax relief for Coloradans. During this telephone town hall, you’ll be able to ask me questions directly – both on the phone and online.

    Sign up to get a call when the event starts, or use the link below to participate online tomorrow morning at 10am MT

    PS, you're all VIPs in the Senator's book, despite his thinking that your medicaid or ACA support (should you get it) is a "bailout." 

    VIP Sign-up

    To join our interactive conversations, provide your name, phone number and email in the form below. Once the event begins, we’ll give you a call at the number provided and you’ll automatically be connected to the conversation!

    You can also join the conversation via live streaming if you missed the registration period, which closes one hour prior to each event. Simply come back to this page at the time of the event and listen to the live audio stream! Please note that you must signup a minimum of 1 hour prior to an event's start time to be included in that event.

    • PKolbenschlag says:

      Although the topic is the other bailout, the one the GOP really wants, for the wealthiest among us whose boats are only floating so high above us already and maybe they can reach all the way to the sky with a little help?!

      Think how lovely the supply-side shower of crumbs, like golden rain, trinkling down from above, will be from such lofty heights! 

      But I digress. One can still ask about the GOP attempt to strip health coverage from millions of Americans. The many must support the few in this shared endeavor after all! 

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Thanks for posting this, PK. I've shared it around. On Gardner's website, he's already changed the time, so it's now 9:15 am. Apparently, he wants people to miss calling in….wonder why?

      If he thinks he's going to get a more conservative crowd by leaving out all of the working people, he's never faced down a crowd of angry baby boomers and young moms with sick kids.

      I hope someone else can record this, as I'll be at work. Jason?

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Unlike JFK and visions of Camelot, with Trump, it's just Babble-On:

    24 hours in, Trump's mixed signals on Alexander-Murray

    From 'I'm not going to do it' to 'a very good solution' in 11 minutes.

    By Lily Mihalik | 10/18/17 5:00 PM EDT

    Trump swung wildly on whether he'd support the bipartisan Alexander-Murray Obamacare deal. The deal aims to stabilize Obamacare insurance markets by restoring subsidies Trump cut off less than a week ago.

  4. Old Time Dem says:

    Here are the consequences of not paying CSRs:

    –Insurance companies raise premiums for ACA polices to cover lost CSRs, since law requires them to subsidize copays. Kaching!

    –Insurance companies sue the federal government. Statute says they have to be paid, so they win and get the CSRs as well as the increased premiums. Double kaching!

    –ACA subsidies, which are tied to the cost of ACA policies, increase so government has to pay more subsidies. More government spending!

    So Trump has managed to create an actual windfall for insurance companies and increase the deficit. Hella kaching!

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