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March 08, 2017 10:15 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 8)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s go ahead and see if we can 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► President Trump has joined with House Republicans to promote a major healthcare policy change that some Republicans are calling “Obamacare-lite” (in order to conserve letters, we’re just going to stick with “Trumpcare”). Despite any happy talk you may hear from individual lawmakers, the conservative backlash is well underway. Today, the American Medical Association announced that it could not support Trumpcare, either.

Good luck trying to find consensus on Trumpcare among Colorado’s Republican delegation to Congress. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has been a vocal supporter of the new health care legislation — even before he had a chance to read the draft document. Coffman is excited about what he calls a massive entitlement reform that would quickly eliminate Medicaid. Meanwhile, Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) continues to insist that he is opposed to any proposal that would gut Medicaid.

Politico examines seven specific pitfalls that could derail Trumpcare entirely, including a poor reception from the healthcare insurers and providers. Many conservative Republicans are also not happy with the plan being pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan.


► House Republicans are moving quickly as they try to enact Trumpcare. As the Washington Post explains, outside groups are being left to figure out the details:

The House GOP is moving so fast — with debate starting in the Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee less than 48 hours after they unveiled their bills — that lawmakers have not yet received any estimates from congressional budget analysts of how much the plans would cost or, significantly, how many Americans could be expected to gain or lose insurance coverage…

…An analysis by S&P Global predicts the legislation would lead to a loss of coverage for 2 million to 4 million of the roughly 16 million Americans who bought their own health plans through the ACA’s marketplaces or separately. More adults 35 and younger would gain coverage, while fewer adults 45 and older would be insured, according to the analysis…

…The GOP plans also would undo an ACA rule that allows insurers to charge their oldest customers no more than three times what they charge their youngest and healthiest ones. Instead, insurers could charge five times as much…

…Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said more low-income people would have a hard time affording benefits under the Republicans’ American Health Care Act. “There will be more losers than winners,” he said.

It’s not all bad news — Trumpcare is great if you are already rich.


► The Colorado legislature could end up convening a special session this summer if Trumpcare makes it through Congress.


► Women haven’t disappeared in Colorado, but this is what it might look like if they did.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) is playing a significant role in efforts to get a man (or woman) to Mars. From a press release:

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) authored a provision included in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 to further our understanding of how to successfully launch a human space flight mission to Mars by 2033. Section 435 of the bill requires NASA to report on the technical and budgetary requirements for a human space flight mission to Mars in the year 2033 utilizing the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle – two projects essential to the future of deep space missions.

“NASA has been working on the Journey to Mars for several years, but we currently lack focus and conviction for this mission,” said Perlmutter. “We need a firm timeline and plan to put the building blocks in place. If we set a goal and work together, we can get our astronauts to Mars by 2033.”

Since joining the Science, Space & Technology Committee, Perlmutter has worked to secure a long-term plan from NASA to ensure it has the authority, funding and resources necessary to send humans to Mars by 2033. Earth and Mars will be in an orbit and alignment in 2033 to provide the optimal scenario to more safely get our astronauts to Mars and back.

Last fall, Rep. Perlmutter talked about his Mars efforts in an interview for The Get More Smarter Show.


► The Colorado State House passed legislation that would ban so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBT children. Similar legislation has previously failed in the Republican-controlled State Senate, but more Republicans appear to be speaking out against “conversion therapy” this year.


► As the Boulder Daily Camera reports, funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could be cut by as much as 17% under President Trump’s new budget parameters. That’s a lot of jobs in Colorado that could go down the drain.


► The sky is blue. The sun sets in the West. Senator Cory Gardner misleads constituents.


► Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) talks education policy with Chalkbeat Colorado, saying that he worries more about negative impacts on education coming out of Congress than proposals from new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.


► The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on a Senate vote that could have a significant impact on Colorado’s environment:

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to roll back a new Bureau of Land Management planning rule that has won praise from some environmental and wildlife groups but been challenged in a lawsuit by some western counties.

The vote means that the congressional measure to rescind the regulation known as the BLM Planning 2.0 rule is headed to the desk of President Trump for his expected signature. The U.S. House of Representatives previously approved killing the rule.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., voted in favor of repealing the rule, while Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., voted against its repeal.


► The CIA might be spying on you. Of course, if the CIA is watching you, then you should probably stop whatever illegal thing it is that you are doing.


► Former President Barack Obama is more than a little annoyed with President Trump. Can you blame him?


► The Clean Energy industry is quietly becoming a massive force in the world economy. In the United States, Clean Energy is about to surpass pharmaceutical manufacturing as a top performer.


► Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has yet to take questions from reporters — at all — but it hasn’t been for a lack of effort on the part of the media.



► O.J. Simpson could be out of jail by October. For Millennials reading this…go ask your parents.

Don’t forget to check out The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!


13 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 8)

  1. The Western Energy Alliance praised the Senate action. “Planning 2.0 downplayed the voice of communities that derive their livelihoods from multiple-use public lands by elevating preservation-only special interests over the broad public interest,” WEA’s president, Kathleen Sgamma, said. 

    This is the big lie…but then, that's what these people do. 

    To characterize the environmental community and its work as a "preservation-only special interest" and the interests of oil and gas profits for its producers as "the broad public interest" is absurd on its face. This sort of bullshit works on people who don't know the truth.

    Public land is NOT best managed by local authorities. It belongs to ALL Americans and should be managed by the federal government. Local authorities are biased towards local users…period.

    Oil and gas companies and their shill organizations like the Western Energy Alliance protect one thing only…the profits of fossil fuel resource development companies and, by extension, the bottom lines of many royalty owners, mostly large landholders and corporations.

    Any suggestion otherwise is a lie. 

  2. The Daily Show simplifies the issue with Jeff Sessions: he lied under oath while interviewing for the job that prosecutes people for lying under oath.

  3. This isn't TrumpCare, this is RepublicanCare, please don't let the rest of the Repub delegation off pointing it at the orange in the White House.

      1. DonTCare™ now that der führer has thrown down the gauntlet? 

        As The Hill writes, outside conservative groups on Tuesday blasted House Republicans’ newly unveiled healthcare proposal, saying it doesn’t live up to the GOP’s promise of fully repealing ObamaCare. Here are some of the more prominent objectors:

        The Club for Growth dubbed the proposal “RyanCare” and threatened to record names of Republicans who vote for the bill unless it includes significant changes.

        Americans for Prosperity/Freedom Partners called the plan "Obamacare 2.0"

        The Cato Institute called the plan a "TrainWreck"

        Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity, a group aligned with billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, also issued scathing statements highly critical of the "American Health Care Act," which was released on Monday.

        FreedomWorks panned the GOP bill as "ObamaCare-Lite," while AFP labeled it "ObamaCare 2.0." “This is simply not a full repeal of ObamaCare. It falls far short of the promises Republicans made to the American people in four consecutive federal elections,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in a phone interview Tuesday. “The proposed legislation trades one form of government subsidy for another government subsidy, and doesn’t roll back the mandate of ObamaCare. It's a poor first attempt.”

        In short, conservatives don't like the bill in its current form, and as the Hill puts it, "the seemingly coordinated statements — all released within an hour of each other — from these four big-money, influential conservative groups create a huge headache for Speaker Paul Ryan(R-Wis.) and the two authors of the House bill: Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas)."

  4. I'm partial to naming the new bill DonTcare. But I was also impressed by the possibilities of combining a bit of Trump with Ryan, recognizing this is already the second version of the bill to go public, creating the possibility of TRyan2care.

  5. On Cory Gardner's telephone town hall tonight. He's just going on and on about how he likes to travel across Colorado and meet people.

    So far, he's true to form, acting as though he cares about Affordable Care, repeating old proven-false lies about 500,000 in CO losing coverage, being cancelled without explaining that that's par for the course when crap insurance is replaced by good insurance.

    Re Planned Parenthood at 7:32, he's just saying that PP can survive and the commjnity health centers will take up the slack, without saying that funding for commnity health centers came from a provision of the ACA. (Thanks Bernie!)

    RE: Russian hacking, Cory is just so involved and concerned, his committee will certainly look into it. Any day now.


  6. More Cory Gardner obfuscation.

    He has a medical marijuana question. He's presenting it as state's rights, sounds as though he supports Fed noninterference with CO's cannabis laws.

    Rebecca in Aspen: asking about Trump's Russian Kremlin Kabal, and what Gardner intends to do about it. Wilbert Ross, Dept of Commerce, Rex Tillerson, Sec State, almost all of Trump's high level campaign staff, Trump himself and his real estate deals in Mar o Lago . Issue of money laundering. Rebecca's "scared to death".

    Gardner: Burr and Warner are leading an investigation, it's handled. Riight…

    7:43 Renee from Centennial not a paid protester has MS. She questions priotities of saving $$ before health. Cost $100,000 per treatment. Asks why not give everyone the same insurance all members of Congress have,

    Gardner: I've worked to get lifesaving drugs approved faster. My mom survived cancer. Bla bla bla. My staff will follow up with you. (But I'm not going to answer your questions. )

    Marilyn not a paid protester would you please have an in person town hall. You've supported DougCo school voucher programs, voted for Devos. Justify. How do you make charter schools accept all students.

    Gardner: I support school choice. Bla bla. There are great charter schools. (Does not mention studies which show charter schools , when tracked, do not necessarily do any better, and often do worse, in spite of cherry- picking students. No mention of TABOR limits on school financing, unequal tax districts). Get gubmint out of the way, let parents and local districts make decisions. Empower people. Yeah.

    1. So that was it, the end of Cory Gardner's town hall. He evaded more questions, about town halls, Russian influence, health care, data and science, and veteran's care. I did record it on my computer if anyone wants a sound file. I don't think Conniving Cory made any news tonight, just repeated what he's said before.

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