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January 18, 2017 02:25 PM UTC

Reporters should press Colorado's Congressional Republicans on replacement for Obamacare

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and Rep. Mike Coffman.

The Colorado Republican congressional delegation is talking a lot about a “replacement” for Obamacare, as if they have something in mind, without actually pointing to an actual factual replacement–or even any details leading in the direction of a replacement.

Reporters should be extra careful to point out that Republicans have no replacement plan, because all the talk about one can easily confuse already confused people into thinking that Colorado Republicans have a plan.

As an example of how Republicans try to disguise their absence of a plan as a plan, check out this passage from a Jan. 13 Denver Post opinion piece, authored by all of Colorado’s GOP members of Congress (with the glaring exception of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.)

And speaking of replacement plans, the narrative that Republicans have offered no plan to replace Obamacare is false. Republicans have introduced multiple alternative health care plans since 2010, and we encourage you to review them. The most recent replacement plan was offered by the Republican Study Committee, called the American Health Care Reform Act. The Empowering Patients First Act was a plan put forth in the 114th Congress by future Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Tom Price. Our Better Way Agenda also includes a blueprint for replacing Obamacare that is centered on more choices, lowers costs, and greater flexibility.

Many plans does not mean you have a plan. Gentlemen, which plan do you favor, if any?

Even though Gardner didn’t join his colleagues in the Denver Post opinion, he made a similar statement on KOA 850-AM Jan. 13 (audio below):

Gardner: We have introduced several bills — hundreds of bills, really — small and big over the past several years to replace Obamacare. Some are very targeted, some are much more comprehensive: legislation by Tom Price –soon to be the Secretary of Health; legislation by Dr. Grasso, a Senator from Wyoming who is a physician; legislation from Bill Cassidy, a physician himself from Louisiana that will be introduced next. These are all going to be considered as part of the replacement once it’s repealed.

Hundreds of bills! Small and big! Very targeted! All will be considered! (But, alas, still, no plan.)

But, it’s worth noting, and it’s in fact newsworthy, that  Colorado’s congressional Republicans are saying the Price plan is in the mix, because analysts say that millions of people would lose their health insurance under Price’s proposal. And Price is Trump’s nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Cassidy plan, also mentioned by Gardner, would leave millions of people uninsured or underinsured, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In fact, Trump’s promises aside, I can’t find someone who’s making a credible case that any of the floated Republican plans, either individually or combined with one another, won’t throw millions of people off the health insurance rolls. (Here’s a look at a few more GOP plans.)

9News anchor Kyle Clark noted Gardner’s awareness of the problem, reporting that Gardner “would not commit to having an Affordable Care Act replacement that covers everyone with insurance now.”

But the big numbers involved might explain why Gardner literally turned and walked away from editor Sarah Kliff when she asked about coverage under the Price plan, because millions lose it.

The numbers and obfuscation also are the reason reporters should press for an answer to the questions about a replacement plan and its impact. And not mince words in informing us of non-answers.

Listen to Cory Gardner on 850-KOA Jan. 13.


7 thoughts on “Reporters should press Colorado’s Congressional Republicans on replacement for Obamacare

  1. if they  were smart…..(I know)…….they'd replace Obamacare with the ACA — and they'd still be able to lie in their constituents' faces about it.


  2. I wonder if Sen. Gardner will include a provision in the Republican plan that requires cancellation notices so individuals, millions of them, now insured under Obamacare will be notified that their Obamacare insurance has been cancelled. Also, will Sen. Gardner promise to include a renewal notice in the same envelope that sets forth what it will cost each individual or family to purchase insurance under the Republican plan compared to what they were paying under Obamacare. Finally, will Sen. Gardner promise to include in the same envelope with the Republican cancellation notice a comparison of the services an individual received under Obamacare compared to what they will receive under the Republican healthcare plan. Its only fair that citizens know what they are getting for their money.

  3. Sen. Gardner needs to respond to the following. If Obamacare is repealed, six rural hospitals in Colorado, including the one in Delta will close due to lack of funding. The hospital in Delta employs 615 people and is the single largest employer in that county. According to the hospital administrator in Delta, Obamacare stabilized the hospital's finances which allowed it to remain open to treat patients. If it closes patients will have a two hour drive, one way, to get hospital care.

    In the 2014 general election, Delta County gave Sen. Gardner 67.3% of their votes and now, to return that favor, he wants to close Delta's hospital, layoff 615 people from their jobs, cancel the health insurance of the Delta County residents who have insurance through Obamacare, all because of ideology. What say you Senator about this?

    1. That's the spirit, Zappatero! 

      Make people, insured under the ACA, have a health care plan that they can't afford to use due to higher co-pays and higher deductibles, along with double digit premiums rate increases in 2017.  Who cares if this law was sold to us based on the lie, touted by Democrats, that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." and "If you like your doctor, you can keep him/her?"

      How do you think it looked when Obama began granting waivers to the law, after he signed it, especially pushing the date — the Cadillac health care plan tax on unions would kick in — until after he left office?

      What does it matter if the then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, urged the passage of the ACA by breathlessly telling us "We have to pass this law so we can see what's in it?"  That just revealed to us that House Democrats did not really know what they were voting on that day. 

      How do you think some Coloradans felt when Connect for Health Colorado forced them onto Medicaid, when they wanted a plan under the ACA?

      Thank goodness FDR and LBJ, respectively, reached across the aisle to ensure bipartisan support for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Those programs would have eventually fizzled out… like Obamacare appears to be going… had those two presidents not sought a collaborative effort from Congress.  

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