Coffman announces Obamacare telephone calls and “meetings” but no promised town hall

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mike Coffman.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman announced yesterday that he plans to hold “series of meetings,” beginning Feb. 20-24 and continuing in March. about the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

Absent from his plans is a town hall meeting in a “very large venue” that can “handle 300 people.” He promised to hold such a town-hall-style event after his early exit from a jammed constituent meeting last month,

In place of a public town-hall discussion is a listening tour”  1) an undefined number of “meetings”with select “healthcare providers and patients advocacy groups” and 2) “several telephone town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding their concerns about the Affordable Care Act.”

Coffman did not offer an explanation for backing of his plans for a big old town hall meeting, but the replacement he’s chosen offers the Aurora Republican the opportunity to screen his audiences and weed out potentially angry questions.

In other words, Coffman can’t slip out the back door of a telephone call. But he can to the equivalent by screening callers. Ditto with meetings with healthcare providers; he’s picking both the groups and the venues.

So in terms of accountability, Coffman’s proposal doesn’t fulfill his promise to do right to all those people he left in the library Jan. 14, when he slipped out the back door early. And reporters should have asked him about it.

Here’s the entire news release issued by Coffman’s office yesterday:

Coffman Announces ACA ‘Listening Tour’

Feb 13, 2017 Press Release
Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) announced that during the district work period scheduled for Feb. 20-24, he will undertake the first phase of his planned “listening tour” regarding the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Coffman will use this series of meetings to gain the perspective of as many constituents, patients and healthcare professionals as possible.

“During this district work week, I look forward to meeting with many healthcare providers and patients advocacy groups. My objective is to personally hear from them on how the ACA has affected the healthcare system, medical professionals, and most importantly, how it has affected patients access to medical care. I will use their input not only to review my own plans on how to proceed, but also to communicate their concerns to my congressional colleagues—Additionally, I want to communicate again that no repeal will take place without first having a replacement.”

The ACA, which was signed into law in March 2010, dramatically impacted the health care of millions here in Colorado and across the country. Due to the ACA, thousands of Coloradans who were perfectly satisfied with their health insurance had their policies changed or in some cases even cancelled. In 2017 alone, health insurance rates rose more than 20% in some areas, and 14 counties in the State now have just one health insurance provider servicing their area. The ACA, did allow for some consumer protections to be codified into law, some of which Coffman strongly supports, such as preserving the pre-existing condition protection and ensuring those under Medicaid expansion access to health insurance coverage.

Coffman will commence the second phase of this listening effort in March when he plans to hold several telephone town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding their concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

More information on the tele-town halls will be made available in early March in the Congressman’s website: www.coffman.house.gov.

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Don't you wish for a job where you could choose who to talk to?

  2. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    A Deep Dive Into 4 GOP Talking Points On Health Care

    1. The individual health insurance market is collapsing. 

    — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), on Meet the Press, Feb. 5, “the law is literally in the middle of a collapse.”

    — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the Senate floor Jan. 9: “Obamacare continues to unravel at every level, leaving Americans to pick up the pieces.”

     legislation written by Republicans has led to some of the trouble in exchanges. Most directly, Congress limited federal payouts to insurers who encountered higher-than-expected costs in the exchanges. Republicans called the payments “insurance company bailouts,” even though similar federal measures have been used in other markets, such as the Medicare drug plans implemented more than a decade ago.

    Still, the result was that the Department of Health and Human Services was able to provide insurers with only 13 percent of the money they were promised under the law in 2015. That shortfall led directly to the implosion of most of the nonprofit co-op health plans, and some private insurers referenced the shortfalls when they pulled out of the marketplaces this year. Yet when House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., noted at a Feb. 2 hearing that “only five out of the original 23 insurance co-ops remain. … They tried it, it didn’t work,” he did not mention the loss of the federal payments to cover early losses. 

    2. Out-of-pocket spending is too high.

    — Speaker Ryan, at CNN Town Hall Jan 12: “Deductibles are so high it doesn’t even feel like you’ve got insurance anymore.”

    — Senate Majority Leader McConnell (in a CNN op-ed): “It’s raising health care costs by previously unimaginable levels, and it’s hurting the very people it was intended to help.”

    Republicans’ most popular proposals for replacing current individual insurance plans — cutting back on required benefits and giving more people access to tax-preferred health savings accounts — would likely increase out-of-pocket spending for those who use health services (although it would be less expensive for people who are healthy all year long).

    Letting people buy more bare-bones policies “means insurance doesn’t kick in until people have very significant medical bills,” said Ayanian.

    Former Obama administration health official Sherry Glied, on a panel at the National Health Policy Conference in January, asked if having a $10,000 or $20,000 deductible (as some proposals would allow) with perhaps $1,000 in a health savings account “is better than having no coverage at all? Lots of people would go bankrupt at $20,000,” particularly if they don’t have the resources to fund the HSA with their own savings. 

    3. Medicaid patients can’t find doctors to treat them.

    — Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), on the Senate floor Jan. 9: “It is the illusion of coverage without the power of access.”

    — Speaker Ryan, from CNN Town Hall Jan. 12: “… so our concern is, that people on Medicaid can’t get a doctor and if you can’t get a doctor, what good is your coverage?”

    Benjamin Sommers of the Harvard School of Public Health, who has studied the issue, said the idea that patients with Medicaid can’t get care comes from looking overall at how many doctors and other providers accept the program’s generally lower payments and higher administrative burdens. “But that’s not the best way to study this. The best question … is when you talk to the people with coverage and ask them if they can get the care they need.”

    And he said “study after study” shows that “when people get Medicaid, their access to care improves dramatically,” including greater use of primary care, preventive screening, and care of chronic conditions. “Even with some potential limitations of provider participation, patients are much better off once they get that [Medicaid] coverage,” he said. 

    4. The ACA has reduced jobs.

    — Tom Price, the secretary of Health and Human Services, during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Jan. 18: “The ACA has decreased the workforce by the equivalent of 2 million FTE’s (full time employees).”

    — Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), on the Senate floor Jan. 9: “Across the country … employers have cut jobs to afford Obamacare costs.”

    But a careful reading of the CBO report notes that the decline they estimate would be due less to employers cutting back, and more to older workers voluntarily opting to work fewer hours — perhaps because of fears of losing their premium subsidies or their Medicaid eligibility — or retiring because they no longer had to work in order to get health insurance.

    It is true that some employers cut worker hours below the 30-hour threshold to avoid the employer coverage requirement.

    However, the strengthening economy, including in the health care sector, has shrunk the part-time workforce and expanded full-time employment well beyond the numbers reduced by the Affordable Care Act, according to most analysts.

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Why should any lawmaker subject himself to paid liberal abuse?

    • unnamed says:

      Paid?  I'm still waiting for my check.  Anybody else here get paid yet?  Hey Moldy, why don't you give me your address.  I'll send you the invoice.  Then you can pay me and then you'd be telling the truth. 

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Ah, this is Coffman's "Tell me only what I want to hear" Tour

    Brave Sir Robin strikes again

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