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May 31, 2023 11:50 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 31)

  • by: Colorado Pols

We’re one day away from Game 1 of the NBA Finals — in Denver! The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat tip things off at 6:30 pm on Thursday. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.




The House of Representatives will vote today on a deal to raise the debt limit and prevent a catastrophic global financial collapse. As The Washington Post reports:

House Democratic leaders are preparing their members to provide votes to push a bill to suspend the debt ceiling and limit federal spending past a critical procedural hurdle Wednesday afternoon, as lawmakers work toward enacting a deal to avert a U.S. government default.

Democratic leaders have telegraphed to several lawmakers in the last several hours that they anticipate that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will ask House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) for support to ensure that a vote on the rule governing the bill on the floor passes, according to six people familiar with the conversations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations among the Democratic caucus. The bill can only move toward consideration for final passage after that vote.

Opposition to the deal between the House GOP and the White House is building among conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, but leaders in both parties expect it to pass later Wednesday. GOP leadership aides say they believe the final vote will receive “a majority of the majority,” satisfying an informal Republican guideline against passing legislation mostly on the strength of Democratic support.

Colorado Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck say they will vote ‘NO’ on the bill. Fellow Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is still reportedly undecided but is being pressured by the Colorado Republican Party — and 2022 GOP Primary opponent Dave Williams — to oppose any deal.

Both Buck and Lamborn are in fairly safe Republican districts, so they can vote without worrying too much about whether it might cost them in 2024 (Buck always votes against raising the debt ceiling, though his ideas for spending cuts are ludicrous).

Boebert, however, is in a different situation; opposing a deal that will prevent massive cuts for constituents in her district would be a significant blow to her re-election hopes. But when it comes to a choice between doing right be her constituents and doing what MAGA Republicans expect of her, the people of CO-03 are always going to lose out:



Colorado Newsline has more on the Colorado industries that are particularly nervous about the outcome of the debt ceiling debate.


In other debt ceiling news, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy may face a challenge for the Speaker’s gavel because MAGA Republicans and Freedom Caucus members are salty about the deal McCarthy made with the White House. Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is mad at a bunch of Republicans in McCarthy’s orbit:


Give your eyes a break and put your ears to work with this week’s episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:



Click below to keep learning things…



Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…


Meg Wingerter of The Denver Post looks at new efforts to push back against insurance companies who use the absurd “prior authorization” game to make it difficult for patients to get the medication prescribed by their doctors:

Dr. Eric Shaw felt huge relief when he finally found a drug that stopped the allergic reaction that made it hard for him to swallow — and a significant blow when he learned his insurance company might not cover it.

Shaw, a pediatrician in Littleton, has dealt with insurance denials when trying to get drugs approved for his patients, but said Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s delay in paying for his own treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis used a new tactic. The company refused to pay unless he got an endoscopy procedure examining his esophagus to check for a placebo effect, which is essentially unheard of, he said.

The medication, called Dupixent, costs about $52,000 a year, and also has helped with his asthma, Shaw said…

…State and federal law gives insurance companies latitude to assess whether a drug or procedure is necessary before agreeing to pay for it, a process known as prior authorization. The idea is that insurers will flag wasteful and harmful treatments, and encourage patients to try out less-expensive options first.

Doctors and patients have raised concerns about whether some companies are putting up unnecessary hurdles or rejecting claims out of hand, though. A congressional committee is investigating insurance giant Cigna after reports its doctors were spending an average of 1.2 seconds reviewing cases before denying care as not medically necessary. Officials with the U.S. Department of Labor, which regulates most employer-sponsored insurance plans, said they also intend to take a look.


Kaiser Permanente is donating $10 million to help stabilize Denver Health, the city’s “safety net” hospital.


President Biden will be in Colorado Springs on Thursday to deliver the commencement address for graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy.


 Former Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney delivered the commencement address for Colorado College this week, to mixed reviews.


Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation say the state should be awarded three new federal judgeships in order to handle growing demand. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, along with Rep. Joe Neguse, are pushing for the additions in order to help deal with increase caseloads.


Seth Klamann of The Denver Post reports on new laws aimed at keeping dangerous diet pills away from teenagers:

Colorado insurers will soon be barred from using an antiquated weight calculation to block a patient from accessing eating disorder care, under a new law signed Tuesday that also bans the sale of certain diet pills to minors.

The new law, which passed the legislature in early May, is part of a two-pronged approach undertaken by legislators this year to better address eating disorders in Colorado. A second bill, also signed into law Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, will create a program within the state health department that seeks to better prevent Coloradans from developing the diseases in the first place.

The two bills had been pushed by mental health advocates and by the Colorado Youth Advisory Council. Eating disorder diagnoses have erupted in the wake of the pandemic, and Colorado is a hub for eating disorder treatment nationally.


► Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the final step for approving a watered-down version of legislation limiting hospitals from charging certain “facility fees.”


► As Jesse Paul writes for The Colorado Sun, Colorado’s workplace harassment committee at the state legislature will meet for the first time:

A workplace harassment complaint at the Colorado Capitol prompted a committee set up four years ago by the state legislature in response to a sexual harassment scandal to meet for the first time Thursday.

The Colorado House Workplace Harassment Committee offered no hints as to the nature of the complaint — made against either a state representative or a partisan staffer in the House. The panel referred the allegation to an outside investigator for review. It’s unclear how long that probe will take.

The General Assembly formed separate House and Senate workplace harassment committees in 2019, a year after a series of sexual harassment complaints against then-Rep. Steve Lebsock exposed gaps in the legislature’s policies. State lawmakers also formed the Office of Legislative Workplace Relations to field and respond to complaints.


As The New York Times explains, Climate Change is prompting insurance companies to back away from offering insurance coverage. In California, State Farm will no longer sell insurance policies to anyone because of increasing risks of wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters.


In related news, three children in three different states have recently died after being left inside sweltering vehicles. Six children have now died from similar causes so far this year, double the number seen in 2022.


A new program pushed by State Treasurer Dave Young will help Coloradans save for retirement. As Rachel Estabrook reports for Colorado Public Radio:

Coloradans whose employers don’t already offer retirement accounts will be automatically enrolled in a new savings program administered by the state.

Most of these employees have already started seeing paycheck deductions this spring, with the money going into a personal retirement account. The rest, who work at companies with between 5-14 employees, will be signed up by the end of June. Companies with fewer than five employees aren’t required to sign up.

Treasurer Dave Young’s office is managing the new Colorado SecureSavings program, which was created through legislation passed in 2019.

“I think that everybody deserves a sustainable and dignified retirement. And right now we know there are a million people in the state of Colorado that aren’t accumulating any savings, and they won’t be sustainable on Social Security alone,” Young said in an interview.

Employees can opt out, though Young hopes that enough people will stay in the savings program and contribute to their accounts to make a difference for their own financial outlook, and to benefit taxpayers who pay for social programs like Medicaid, housing and food support.


Former Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova has been selected to take over as Colorado’s next education commissioner. 


Xcel Energy will likely be passing on some new expenses to ratepayers in Colorado. Again. 


 Axios Denver looks at the outside money flooding into the Denver Mayor’s race, which concludes on June 6.


Hey, look: Bob Beauprez!




Say What, Now?






Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Another reminder that Heidi Ganahl was the actual Republican nominee for Governor in 2022:


Solid headline here from the Huffington Post:

Via the Huffington Post (5/31/23)





Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will launch his 2024 campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination next week. So, that’s neat.


Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) is quietly advancing a proposal that could be a huge positive change for the electric grid in the United States. 


 The Denver Post explains how soon you might be able to visit the new Casa Bonita in Lakewood.



Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast at




3 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 31)

  1. The House that My Kevin built ….

    … is voting on adopting the Rules Committee report re:  debt ceiling bill. Yeahs are at 187 (all Republicans), the nays are 199 (171 Dems and 28 Republicans).  49 not yet having voted. 

    I’m guessing that once the last of Republicans has voted, the Dems will carry the resolution over the finish line.

  2. Update ….

    The Rules resolution was approved, 241 to 187. The Dems brought it across the finish line.

    The usual suspects voted "Nay": Bobert, Buck, Gosar, Gaetz, Jayapal, Norman, AOC, Omar, Pressley, and Chip Roy.

    Kudos to Brittany Pettersen and Yadira Caraveo for being part of the solution instead of part of the problem, and voting to move this thing along.

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