Trumpcare: Coffman’s Credibility Collapses

UPDATE: Nick Riccardi of the AP, Tweeting Mike Coffman’s tele-town hall yesterday:

File under “clear as mud.”


Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports–remember five days ago when Rep. Mike Coffman committed to supporting the GOP’s American Healthcare Act “in its current form?” Staking out his position right before the Congressional Budget Office released its damning estimate of 24 million more people without insurance than under the Affordable Care Act?

Yeah, forget all that:

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) says he’s taking more time to review the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“Rep. Coffman is reviewing the [Congressional Budget Office] analysis to see what areas of the American Healthcare Act need adjustments before a final bill is enacted,” spokesman Daniel Bucheli wrote in an email to 9NEWS. “But he is encouraged that the bill leaves in place the consumer protections, such as preexisting conditions and allowing dependents to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26, and he believes the AHCA will face major changes before it’s signed into law.”

That’s different from what Coffman said March 11 on The Craig Silverman Show…

“In its current form, right now I would vote for it,” Coffman said. “I’m obviously concerned about it being changed, and what changes may happen. And I certainly do have some changes to it that I’m pushing, but if I had vote today on the form that’s there, I would support it.”

And don’t forget Coffman’s famous photo from March 7, in which he claimed to be “closely reading” the bill “to make sure it is in the best interest of CD-6 residents.”

So, on March 7, Coffman claimed he read the bill. On March 11, he said he would vote for it “in its current form.” And then yesterday, just hours before holding a tele-town hall, he backpedaled to “still reviewing.” We’re awaiting reports from yesterday’s call to update with any further contradictions/”evolutions” in Coffman’s position.

But folks, this is ridiculous. The only thing that changed between when Coffman claimed to have “read the bill” and said he would vote for it and today is the CBO’s report and the overwhelming public rejection of the bill. Coffman put himself out on this limb with no help, and his original statement that he would vote for the bill “in its current form” was not equivocal.

In short, Mike Coffman is all over the map, displaying the opposite of leadership on this central issue at a time when his constituents can least afford it. The situation reveals Coffman’s great weakness as a hard-right congressman representing a closely-divided swing district–weaker now more than ever with Republicans in full control, pushing an agenda that Coffman embraces at his peril.

And it’s only going to get worse.

27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. notaskinnycook says:

    He's not all over the map, but he is so far out on that limb that you can hear the wood a-crackin’. My bet is he was all set to vote for Ryan's bill until the half of his district that used to be CD 7 lit his phones up like a Christmas tree and told him "Don't you dare vote to take away my insurance!"

  2. cdsmithus says:

    I don't understand this article's tone.  I'm glad that he is backpedaling on his support for the bill after looking at CBO analysis and public reaction.  I'm not sure if he had read it or not, but having read the bill doesn't mean he understood the consequences as well as the CBO.

    Isn't this reaction exactly what everyone should hope for?  I'd be far more worried if he were joining the chorus of discrediting the CBO instead of reconsidering the bill.

    • Davie says:

      It demonstrates that Coffman isn't much of an independent thinker.  His default position is to keep his head down and toe the party line.  

      There were plenty of other signs of troubling elements in this bill that he ignored until his contituents (and finally a significant number of his GOP peers) raised the temperature to "Boiling"

    • Tazistan Jen says:

      Agreed.  Negative public reaction and a negative CBO report are good reasons to reconsider.  I hope more congress people do the same.  In fact I think I'll call Cory Gardner again.

  3. unnamed says:

    What will it be Mealy-Mouthed Mike?  Vote away people's insurance via Trumpcare and piss off the bluer parts of your district?  Vote against Trumpcare to save your constituents lots of heartburn and possible tragedy but piss off the hard-right fascist base? 


  4. exlurker19 says:

    I somehow got invited to the tele town hall, midway through.  Mikey stumbled through a non-explanation of how the VA hospital went a bazillion dollars over budget on his watch and still isn't finished. 

    Then it was a question about Health Care and he mumbled a lot about looking into it.  But he reassured us that although the first part did sound kinda terrible, it's a three part plan and the Secretary of HHS Tom Price (who wants to end all insurance of any kind) can make all kinds of great changes to protect people.

    The third question was about RussiaGate and Mikey said it wasn't his job to look into that stuff.  But he trusts the people who are looking into it all.

    Then I hung up.  Repub talking points in a low mumbly tone.  With some kind and gentle sounding gentleman trying to help the Mikey out.

    The one interesting thing for me was said by the nice sounding guy.  Mikey is supposedly going to hold a townhall meeting in April where people can actually see him in person.  If he can find a space big enough, maybe Mikey will do that, Mikey said. If I get enough notice I may be there.

    • Republican 36 says:

      Since Mr. Coffman is going to rely on administrative decision made by Secretary of HHS Price to make health care come out right for all of us, could he please tell us what those decisions are going to be. Mr. Coffman appears to be setting up a situation where he can blame someone else (Secretary Price) when all goes wrong. We need to hold Coffman's and Gardner's feet to the fire on this. If they are going rely on Se. Price we need to know if they know what Price intends to do.

      The reason Coffman is putting off a live town hall meeting until April is simple. He expects the House to either pass a health care bill or defeat it before the town hall. If it passes out of the House, he will say he is carefully monitoring the progress of the bill in the Senate on our behalf but its out of his hands. If the bill is defeated in the House, the pressure will be off and he believes he won't have to face an auditorium full of angry constituents. Frankly, he is again acting as a coward. He could find a high school gymnasium and hold a live town hall meeting tomorrow if he wanted to. He told us in January he would hold a live town hall meeting in February but never did. Coffman wants our votes but refuses to meet with us face-to-face. Coward.

  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Anyone taking bets on the margin of Coffman's re-election victory in November, 2018? I'd say at least around 52-53%.

  6. mamajama55 says:

    Coffman wouldn't want to talk about the new VA hospital construction, because we still don't know if the new hospital will be built by January 2018.  And the Government Accountability Office says that even after it's built, they have no way to track the escalating costs of starting up the move to the new facility, because the VA is crap at tracking such things.

    Remember how awarding the construction contract to the Army Corps of Engineers was supposed to get construction on track? Coffman said the Army Corps could do the job!  It hasn't.

    Even after handing over billions of dollars in construction to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Veterans Affairs Department is still in a fog. The Government Accountability Office notes the Corps will take over 12 of 23 major VA projects. But auditors said VA needs to improve its ability to track change orders and make accurate cost and completion date estimates. Meantime, GAO finds post-completion, start-up costs for the $1.7 billion Denver medical center have ballooned. (Government Accountability Office)

    The senior leaders now in charge met February 11 to discuss construction progress.

    Was Representative Mike Coffman in attendance? He wasn't.

    What is Mike Coffman doing to help push the hospital's construction? Yet again, he is pushing for a "VA Accountability First" Act which would take away job protections, bonuses, and reimbursements for VA employees, and weaken a public employee union for criminal misconduct "and other reasons".

    Drugs are vanishing at VA hospitals, contributing to the nation's opiod epidemic. But this isn't the "criminal misconduct" that Coffman is going after. No, he's going after the high level political appointees, trying to get more people in of his own ideological stripe.

    Once again, more "heads must roll", more grandstanding, no effective action by Coffman.

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