Lipstick on a Pig: Ad “Thanks” Coffman For GOP Health Disaster

Rep. Paul Ryan with now-Sen. Cory Gardner.

The news yesterday from the Congressional Budget Office that the much-anticipated Republican repeal/replacement legislation for the 2010 Affordable Care Act would leave 24 million Americans uninsured by 2026 has rocked the debate over former President Barack Obama’s signature health reform law. We haven’t seen much in the way of response to the CBO’s damning analysis from Republicans, some of whom were fully intending to dismiss the estimate until the White House’s own numbers projected an even larger loss.

Politico obtained one of the only responses from Sen. Cory Gardner we believe has been made public as of now:

“We’ve got work to do here,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who had raised concerns about the bill’s effect on Medicaid. [Pols emphasis]

Whatever that means! Sen. Gardner’s decision to join with three other vulnerable Republicans in expressing concern about Medicaid patients under the House GOP’s plan was contradicted by Gardner’s appearance at a press conference with Vice President Mike Pence to support the plan a day later. This contradiction has yet to be resolved, but we have to believe that time is running out for Gardner to continue skating.

On the other hand, as Jason Salzman reported yesterday, Rep. Mike Coffman has explicitly committed himself to voting for the House GOP legislation “in its current form.” Coffman said that before the CBO score was made public, and there’s been no subsequent statement to suggest otherwise. Not that it would matter much anyway, after the Paul Ryan-orbit American Action Network started running ads today praising Coffman for his support of Ryan’s American Healthcare Act:

Today the American Action Network (@AAN) begins a new $1.5 million issue advocacy campaign to further momentum as conservative lawmakers fight to pass historic health care reform with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The ad highlights key elements of the plan and encourages lawmakers to deliver on their health care promise. Over the next two weeks, the ads will air nationally on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and in 15 congressional districts nationwide…

“This is a historic opportunity to reverse the trajectory of health care in our country. Many conservative lawmakers are fighting for strong, conservative solutions to the Affordable Care Act that has failed and will only get worse unless Congress passes the American Health Care Act,” said Corry Bliss, AAN Executive Director. “We want constituents to know about their representatives’ efforts as they fight to keep their promise and deliver a plan that will provide access to quality, affordable health care of their choice.”

At some point, we expect Coffman to issue a statement on whether he, you know, wants their “thanks!” With Coffman already committed to the bill prior to the analysis of its effects being released, the ad makes sense–as of right now.

But for politicians with an interest in their own career survival like Coffman, these things have a way of changing. The stark human costs of the House GOP repeal bill, weighed against any economic benefit it might have for the nation, invite the most basic questions about what the point of this entire exercise even is. And it breaks the central promise that has been made by Republicans throughout the long debate over Obamacare: to replace it with something quantifiably better.

For Sen. Gardner and Rep. Coffman, this is a fateful moment. Six years of posturing and misinformation just hit the wall of reality. It is not hyperbole to suggest that what they do next will make or break their careers.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    Messrs. Gardner and Coffman: 

    Its time you held live town hall meetings. With the CBO's report and the White House report backing it up, you need to meet with your constituents face-to-face and find out what they think of the House bill.

    May I remind you of a true story that happened around thirty-five years ago in Limon, Colorado. On a cold winter evening, United State Senator Bill Armstrong (R-CO) was scheduled to address a meeting in Limon. When he arrived there was a crowd of angry constituents waiting for him. They were angry about a bill he was supporting in the U.S. Senate. Senator Armstrong told them he would meet with them immediately after he gave his scheduled address. He made arrangements to meet them at another building in Limon.

    When he finished his address, Senator Armstrong immediately went to meet with his angry constituents. He stood on a chair for two hours and answered all of their questions truthfully and in detail. When the meeting concluded, his angry constituents gave him a standing ovation.

    Messrs. Gardner and Coffman, stop ducking out back doors and issuing lame statements that the only people who attend town hall meetings are paid plants organized by groups from outside Colorado. Unlike Senator Armstrong who had the courage to meet with his constituents, if you won't meet with us face-to-face, then be prepared to accept and wear the political reputation of "Coward." 


  2. unnamed says:

    Okay.  So, I'm going to play Moldy:

    They should just repeal it.  There is no humanitarian crisis prior to ACA.  It is obviously better than this bill. 

    Coffman and Gardner are fine, brave men who shouldn't have to be subject to your liberal abuse.

    • Moderatus says:

      The more I look at this, the more I see that health care "reform" is a solution in search of a problem. The free market will take care of it. Let's have transparency and freedom to buy the insurance that works for us.

      • Davie says:

        So now it's finally sinking in that there will be a lot of unemployed GOP elected officials when the next several rounds of elections roll around, eh, Moldy?

        I'm pretty sure your tickets on the Trumptanic are non-refundable.

      • unnamed says:

        Solution in search of a problem.  Your heroes have a knack for coming up with those types of things.   Who knew Health Care could be so hard?  Huh Moldy?

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          In my case, my Parkinson's movements disorder and pre-existing condition is in search of both biologic and political solutions.  How does my terrible condition fit into your bullshit narrative Moldy?  You think I can just close my eyes like Dorthy and wish it away?  What a heartless fucking fool who masquerades as a caring Christian.  Jesus would whip you with a rope in a heartbeat you heartless fool.

          • Pretty sure Moddy's solution is to let you die suffering, or suggest that charities are wealthy enough (or would be without all these taxes) to help you. The latter is simply a platitude that he can utter so that when the former happens, he can soothe whatever conscience he might have.

            That worked "well" for generations until FDR and his successors came along.

      • ParkHill says:

        I think you mean to talk about Health INSURANCE Reform. And it sounds like you are on the Single Payer train, also, because if you collapse Obamacare, that is the only train left.

        Obamacare means regulating the Individual Insurance market so that it works. Single payer means 5% overhead. Free enterprise means 20% overhead (corporate profits)…. Pick one.

        Free enterprise also means that if you earn minimum wage, your insurance will cost more than your entire income…. hmmm. Should I eat this month, buy a new iPhone, or buy insurance…. Decisions, decisions.

        Free enterprise means that people with chronic conditions, let's say diabetes or MS or "getting older", will be uninsurable. That is NO insurance company wants people with expensive, pro-existing conditions in their risk pool. 

        Free enterprise Insurance DOES NOT WORK. By definition, Insurance is a risk pool that requires both healthy and pre-existing conditions to be contributing and covered. 

      • spaceman65 says:

        You invoke the free market as though this is sales of TVs and stereos.  This is about your fellow citizens not having to die and not having to be bankrupt for being sick.  "Freedom" to buy insurance?  You mean when you have pre-existing conditions that render you uninsurable or all insurance unaffordable.  The more you look at it, the more myopic your already narrow worldview becomes.  Do you work for the Independence Institute or are you just one of their biggest fans?


  3. JohnInDenver says:

    When Mod… says "The free market will take care of it," I am uncertain what he means by "free market." From prior posts, I know he does not like the ACA in general. I just don't know how far back his "free market" theory goes. No federal or state Medicare/Medicaid? No tax deductible status for health care or health care insurance (including HSAs and employer-provided insurance)? No federal regulation of drugs and devices from the FDA? No insistence that hospitals need to treat people in emergency rooms? No federal regulation on health care claims in advertising? No state regulations on insurance plans or who can sell them?  No court status for those claiming medical malpractice? No licenses for doctors, nurses or other health providers?

    Just checking, Mod…. how are you hearing the call of the wild to establish what you consider a "free market"?

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