(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Hey folks we are having a house party at Cory Gardner's house in Yuma, Colorado! #ADAPTandResist #FreeOurPeople #DIAToday #SaveMedicaid
Posted by Carrie Ann Lucas on Sunday, December 31, 2017
Video from New Years Eve visit to Senator Gardner’s home in Yuma
On New Year’s Eve 2017, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado had some unexpected visitors outside his home in Yuma, Colorado. Twelve protesters and supporters from Atlantis ADAPT braved the bitter cold to hold a “house party” on the sidewalk outside Gardner’s home, asking for him to come out and talk with them about how the tax legislation he supported would affect their lives. (about 23:00 minutes in to the video) They chanted:
“Cory Gardner, come on out! We’ve got something to talk about!” and “New Year’s Resolution – Uphold the Constitution!”
However, Senator Gardner declined to party with the protesters, and never spoke with them, although, according to a police officer in the video, he was at home at the time.
Carrie Ann Lucas, a member of the Atlantis ADAPT board, and a candidate for the town board of Windsor, posted live video of the protest. I asked Ms. Lucas to comment on the events.
Q: What did you want to accomplish by visiting Cory Gardner’s home in Yuma on New Year’s Eve?
A: We wanted to have a dialogue with Sen Gardner to prevent Medicaid cuts that are so harmful to disabled Coloradans and to get a commitment to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act like Sen Bennett, and Reps Degette, Polis, Tipton, Coffman, and Perlmutter. The Disability Integration Act will ensure that all disabled people and seniors have the right to receive support services in their own homes, rather than institutional settings such as nursing homes.
Sen. Gardner is not representing Coloradans, but is increasingly beholden to corporate interests. We will continue to try to dialogue with him until he either starts representing the people of Colorado, or he is voted out of office.
2. The tax reform bill Gardner voted for will probably trigger huge Medicaid cuts. How would this affect you and your family?
I am able to work full-time and pay a premium to access Medicaid. I have good private insurance because I work for a Colorado state agency, but my insurance does not cover the attendant care I need to get out of bed, dressed, and showered to allow me to work.With Medicaid cuts, I would be forced to stop working, and would likely be institutionalized. I would be forced to rely on government benefits, rather than working and being a taxpayer. My daughters would also be forced into institutions if Medicaid cuts caused the state to end the optional home and community based services programs that pay for the attendants that allow us to live in our own homes.
I have called, faxed or emailed his office nearly every day for a year.
I have rarely spoken with a staffer, or gotten a response. With the exception of a 3 day sit-in. He had a single short town hall in my area in an entire year, and only a very small number of people even had the opportunity to ask questions.
Meanwhile, I do speak with staffers at my other representative’s offices.
I expect we will be back to all of his offices, including Yuma. Our lives and livelihoods are on the line.
I tried to contact Senator Gardner at his home in Yuma – his phone number is published in the phone directory for Eastern Colorado, as well as in the voter record database. However, his wife asked me to call the Senator at one of his nine offices during business hours. Mrs. Gardner complained about people “banging on her door after midnight” and disturbing herself and her children.
From the video, this “banging” would appear to have been someone, possibly a police officer, knocking on the door (at about 39 minutes in to the video) to see if Gardner would come out to talk. (He wouldn’t.)
About the issue of contacting the Gardners at home, Ms. Lucas responded:
I am running for office myself. I have given my home phone out for constituents to contact me. Several times I have gone to his office locations to try to speak with staff, only to have them close and lock their doors to avoid constituents.
Clearly, Cory Gardner does not want to talk about the tax legislation he promoted and voted for. Most people we know will get a small tax cut this year. I’ll get about $600. However, my health insurance premiums will increase about $1500 because of the GOP attacks on Obamacare. If Medicaid and Medicare cuts are automatically triggered, our small rural hospitals and nursing homes, the foundations of our economy, will lose 60% of their revenue, and might have to close. This is as true in Yuma as it is anywhere in Colorado.
Gardner will not admit that the wealthiest Americans (incomes of $700,000 and over) will reap hundreds of thousands in tax cuts this year alone. Corporations will also pay much less taxes, and their tax cuts are permanent. By 2025, my little $600 tax cut will be an $800 increase, because my cut goes away,.
Even though Medicare and Medicaid are not on the chopping block right now, because of a waiver to the PAYGO law, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said that he wants to tackle “entitlements” next year. Cory’s tax law forces a $1.5 trillion deficit, and the PAYGO response by law is to automatically sequester social services funds.
If that happens, those among us who need medical services just to survive, just to work and pay taxes and take care of our families, would suddenly have little alternative but to beg for a bed in a nursing home – if those will even still exist.
School health programs and clinics would be defunded, and probably have to shut down. Some of the neediest and most disabled children would have no access to health care or services at all.
That is why Lucas and Atlantis ADAPT deserve all of our thanks for being on the front lines – even in the dead of winter, at midnight on New Year’s Eve, in Yuma, Colorado.