UPDATE #4: NARAL Pro Choice Colorado tears into the bill:
“This bill is an insult to Colorado women, Colorado families, and to the democratic process itself. It not only allows states to opt out of the requirement insurance cover maternity care, it could eliminate contraception coverage requirement and ban private insurance from covering abortion care. Women’s reproductive health care would essentially be zeroed out altogether by the Republican bill.
Colorado already has a constitutional amendment banning public funding for abortion care. This bill would ban PRIVATE insurance from covering abortion care. So Colorado women needing abortion care would have to pay out of pocket. Not acceptable.
This is just one of the many reasons Republicans are trying to jam this bill through with no hearings and no testimony from Colorado medical organizations and Colorado citizens. It is wrong.
We will be communicating this No on Trumpcare message to our thousands of members and supporters across the state. And we will be asking them to call Senators Gardner and Bennet and ask them to strongly and vociferously oppose this attack on Colorado women and their health care.”
UPDATE #3: Gov. John Hickenlooper says hell no:
“The Senate’s health care bill, like the House bill, will take Colorado backward. It makes even deeper cuts to health care for the most vulnerable and shifts the costs onto hard working middle class Coloradans. It’s no surprise that a bill drafted in secret, without public hearings and scrutiny, and planned for a rushed vote within days, will hurt Coloradans. We urge Senators Gardner and Bennet to vote no on this flawed bill.”
UPDATE #2: Via Rep. Dave Young in Greeley, Sen. Cory Gardner’s staff has flown the coop:
— RepDaveYoung (@RepDaveYoung) June 22, 2017
UPDATE: The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews has Sen. Cory Gardner’s farcical latest statement on legislation he once claimed to have had a hand in drafting:
“This is the first I’ve viewed the legislation, so I am beginning to carefully review it as we continue to look at ways to rescue Colorado from the continued negative impacts of the Affordable Care Act on our health care system,” Gardner said in a Thursday statement. “It’s frustrating that instead of actually reviewing the legislative text some have decided to immediately oppose the bill before it was even introduced. This deserves serious debate, not knee-jerk reaction.”
On one level, the response makes sense. The full proposal was presented to Gardner and the rest of the Republican caucus for the first time Thursday morning and reading the bill — let alone understanding it — is a process that could take hours, given its length of 142 pages.
On the other hand, it’s a curious reaction, given the context of Gardner’s role in crafting the bill, the politics of health care reform and his comments about the legislation in recent days. [Pols emphasis]
As the Washington Post reports:
Senate Republicans on Thursday released a health-care bill that would curtail federal Medicaid funding, repeal taxes on the wealthy and eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood as part of an effort to fulfill a years-long promise to undo Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.
The bill is an attempt to strike a compromise between existing law and a bill passed by the House in May as Republicans struggle to advance their vision for the country’s health-care system even though they now control both chambers of Congress and the White House.
At around 9:30 a.m., Republican senators entered a room near the Senate chamber where leaders started briefing them on the bill. The legislation, labeled “discussion draft” and numbering 142 pages, was then posted online by the Senate Budget Committee.
The Senate’s version of Trumpcare is, by and large, the same steaming pile of crap as the proposal that was narrowly passed by House Republicans in early May. In fact, the argument you will hear discussed over the next several days will debate whether or not the Senate healthcare bill might actually be worse than the House version.
It’s entirely possible that the Senate released such an awful bill now so that they can pretend to “moderate” the language later — perhaps after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) officially scores the Senate bill early next week. As the Daily Intelligencer explains:
These concessions will have outsized political impact. They will be new and newsy, and reporters will be drawn from the old story — the outlines of the bill — toward the newer developments. The major coverage of the bill will likely focus on changes in the proposed law that make coverage more affordable. The overall law will still make coverage less affordable overall, but that large fact will remain in the background.
Social scientists call this this “anchoring effect.” People tend to have hazy ideas about what is sensible or fair, and have a cognitive bias toward “anchoring” their sense of the correct answer by whatever number is presented to them initially. In one typical experiment, people in job interviews who start by mentioning absurdly high sums, even as an obvious joke, could get higher offers.
Whatever happens from this point forward, Congress will have to make astronomical changes just to make the legislation slightly less-awful. The Senate version released today will increase premiums and deductibles; destroy Essential Health Benefits and protections for pre-existing conditions; raise premiums by 500% for Americans aged 50-64; and make catastrophic cuts to Medicaid.