With debate stalled in the U.S. Senate over a measure to reauthorize federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which lapsed due to congressional incompetence last month, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released a “sequel” to Sen. Cory Gardner’s 2014 campaign ad in which Gardner cited “cancellation letters” for health coverage as a reason to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“In 2014, Sen. Cory Gardner filmed a campaign ad holding a letter he claimed was a notification of ‘cancellation’ of his family’s health coverage,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “It wasn’t true: Gardner never lost coverage, and the letter he was holding was actually a renewal notice. Colorado’s uninsured rate has dropped to historic lows since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which would have been impossible if Gardner’s claims that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans ‘had their plans cancelled’ were true.”
“Today, tens of thousands of children in Colorado face the loss of their health coverage—and this time, the cancellations will be very real,” said Silverii. “Cory Gardner says he supports funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but the U.S. Senate isn’t moving to take up the issue even as states warn their funding is quickly running out. What’s more, the CHIP bill passed by the House makes unacceptable trade-offs, slashing public health funds to address the opioid crisis and cancer research in order to cover kids.”
ProgressNow Colorado’s new video spot, “Mailbox Pt. 2,” features a young man from Colorado directly addressing Sen. Gardner about the importance of reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The video’s setting closely parallels Gardner’s original 2014 “Mailbox” ad, in which Gardner holds up a letter he claims was a notice of cancellation for his family’s health coverage. In truth, Gardner was able to renew his family’s coverage with coverage meeting the Affordable Care Act’s standards, just like the overwhelming majority of Coloradans who received such notices during the ACA’s implementation.
“Our message for Cory Gardner is simple: under the Affordable Care Act, more Coloradans than ever obtained health coverage,” said Silverii. “Unfortunately, Cory Gardner has repeatedly voted in 2017 to take health coverage away from Coloradans. The first thing Gardner needs to do is fight for a CHIP bill that doesn’t gut public health programs in exchange for covering children. And then Gardner must stop trying to cancel the health coverage of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans, by ending his misguided obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act.”