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February 17, 2017 04:07 PM UTC

Mike Coffman's "Listening Tour" Horse Has Left The Barn

  • by: Colorado Pols

Rep. Mike Coffman

With Congress about to head into a contentious recess and protests raging across the land over Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Mike Coffman announced this week a “listening tour,” hoping to undo some of the damage from a disastrous public event in Aurora a few weeks ago that netted Coffman nationwide bad press:

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.”

As has already been noted for the record, Coffman’s “listening tour” next week is not expected to include any kind of open forum where constituents could express themselves to Coffman and be heard publicly while doing so. While that would seem to undercut the legitimacy of any “listening tour,” there’s another, more basic problem.

Doesn’t Coffman already have a plan for Obamacare?

That’s a half-page ad than ran earlier this month in local MediaNews papers, congratulating Rep. Coffman for his “plan to deliver quality, affordable, patient-centered health care.” The ad invites constituents to “thank” Coffman for “proposing access to a quality, affordable health care plan.”

Except he hasn’t proposed anything yet. If he had, why would he need a “listening tour” to figure out what to propose?

Look, we understand the only thing this demonstrates is that Republicans are all over the map when it comes to their central campaign pledge to repeal a law they have spent the last six years demonizing with no regard for fact. Cheerleading from the right-wing media complex about the imminent repeal of Obamacare has been waylaid by the reality that a better plan is not only elusive, but maybe impossible–especially within the narrow range of “free-market” possibilities under consideration by Republicans.

It would be nice to see this acknowledged in the press, instead of pretending there is anything like a consistent message here.


6 thoughts on “Mike Coffman’s “Listening Tour” Horse Has Left The Barn

  1. Coffman's sugar daddy, which paid for this ad,  the "American Action Network" ,is a 501C3 "grassroots activism" group led by Norm Coleman, whom Al Franken narrowly defeated for Senate in 2009. In 2016, AAN  raised 5.5 million, which it has spent defeating Democratic candidates for office. Although AAN claims to be non-partisan, it is clearly a Republican PAC and lobbying outfit.

    In 2011, the only year for which we have tax returns, they raised 22 million, and spent almost all of it defeating Democratic candidates and running issue ads (like Coffman's).

    Don't bother looking for details on the GOP health care plan on the American Action Network …just more of the same vague BS, assuming that Americans are all sheep who will buy the "brand" of the unknown GOP health plan without ever looking at the ingredients.

    Coffman has made empty promises his specialty – this is more of the same.


  2. On the plus side, Coffman claims he won't vote to repeal without having a plan to put in its place. He needs to hear loud and clear that the plan can't just be on a set of bullet points, but must actually be passed by the House AND Senate.

    1. Replacement, if it happens will be something like this:

      Trump has probably been the most outspoken on this point, promising to deliver “great health care at lower cost” and vowing that “everybody would be covered.” But other Republicans reject the whole concept of health care as a right. Although it’s theoretically possible to draw up a conservative health plan that would improve access and affordability, these aren’t the kinds of plans that Republicans have in mind. 

      Their schemes envision substantially less government spending on health care, which would mean lower taxes for the wealthy but also less financial assistance for everybody else. Republicans would make insurance cheaper, but only by allowing it to cover fewer services and saddling beneficiaries with even higher out-of-pocket costs. The result would be some mix of more exposure to medical bills and more people without coverage. If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it ― a real possibility, given profound divisions within the GOP over how to craft a plan ― 32 million more people could go uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

      That would mean real suffering, primarily among those Americans who benefit most from the law now ― the ones with serious medical problems, or too little income to pay for insurance on their own, or both.

      Less coverage, higher premiums, bigger deductibles, and bigger government deficits due to rollback on taxes impacting the wealthy are what we have in store if you are younger than 65 and don't have employer-based insurance.

      Even seniors and employees with insurance will be affected by higher costs and lower benefits since the effects will be industry-wide (and a change to a voucher and block grant strategy for Medicare and Medicaid).  

      Republicans are good at breaking things, not so much with constructive changes.

      But keep on buying those multibillion dollar weapons systems to keep the GOP donor class happy.

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