Cory Gardner: Stuck Between The Kochs and a Hard Place

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As the Denver Post’s John Frank reports from the swanky Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, this weekend playing host to a convention of top donors to the Koch Brothers’ network of powerful conservative advocacy organizations–where Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, if the latest reports are true, faced a major backlash from conservative funders over Gardner’s own stated desire that the health-reform repeal legislation now being considered by the Senate protect the newly-insured population in Medicaid expansion states.

Surely he did, right? Right?

The leaders of the conservative Koch network on Saturday blasted the latest health plan alternative drafted by the Republican-led U.S. Senate, saying it doesn’t go far enough to dismantle President Obama’s health-care law.

“This Senate bill needs to get better,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, the network’s political arm. “It has to get better.”

…The Koch forces are particularly concerned that the bill isn’t conservative enough and it doesn’t do more to shrink the size of Medicaid, the government program that provides health care coverage to low-income adults, children and disabled people. [Pols emphasis]

Since the release of the U.S. Senate’s draft health care legislation on Thursday, several Republican Senators have come out publicly against the bill. Critically, however, they have not done so for the same reasons. Hard-line right wing Senators like Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, like the Koch Brothers and their allies, think the bill doesn’t go far enough. On the other hand, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada opposes the legislation because it will throw too many Americans off the coverage rolls–especially, like Colorado, in his own Medicaid expansion state.

In an interview with reporters, Phillips said the Senate bill represents only a “slight nip and tuck.” But Gardner has expressed concerns the bill curtails Medicaid’s expansion [and] moves too fast. He was not available for an interview at the event. [Pols emphasis]

Because Sen. Gardner is not commenting on what discussions he is having at the Broadmoor this weekend about the repeal of Obamacare and with whom, we’re left as news consumers to speculate. And for honest debate’s sake we have to allow for the possibility that Gardner is running around the Broadmoor this weekend, begging the wealthiest conservative donors in America to reconsider their consensus that this bill doesn’t cut Medicaid enough. That instead of cutting off the millions who have gained access to care under the Affordable Care Act Gardner has vowed to repeal for going on seven years, we should protect those patients.

But folks, how likely is that, really? And if Gardner is not confronting the hard-right consensus that this bill does not go far enough to dismantle the Medicaid expansion, at this gathering where Republican politicos kiss the rings of their biggest donors, what exactly is he doing there?

It’s untenable. When we say Gardner’s two-faced politics are teetering on the brink of destruction, this is why.

The moment of truth is almost here.


10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    I must've missed where the Great and Glorious Senator Michael Bennet called Cory a liar. 

    Oh, he didn't. 

    Because both sides lie, right? 

    Not really. 

    But when Jason matter of factly prints Bennet's lies, that prevents Bennet from calling Cory a liar, because Cory will rightly call Bennet a liar because he is. 

    But  Bennet will pretend it's about the decorum, and Jason will keep the lie euphimism machine running until the end of time.  And Bennet will be able to do the bare minimum as a senator while being praised as a giant by ColoradoPols.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    They should add #kochaine to Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. It appears to be a powerful drug with no cure for the addiction.  

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    A timely reminder to Cory about who's really in charge, and who's paying his way . . . 

    • Davie says:

      Yes, I'm curious to hear what Gardner says this week as the vote approaches (or not).  Have the Koch's pulled on his choker chain, or was he given a pass since the bill's chances appear to be a little iffy?

  4. unnamed says:

    Where's Moldy to publicly give Gardner a tongue bath?  Wiping his face from the last time?

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