(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Here’s my list of key questions for Gardner. Please add yours in the comment section.
What’s the highest number of people in Colorado who’d be projected to lose health insurance under the senate bill—and you’d still vote for it?
You’re not yet accepting the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimate that 22 million people would lose health insurance under the senate bill. If not the CBO, who will you trust to analyze the bill?
Your opponents accuse you of sabotaging Obamacare. Here’s one example they point to. Back in 2013, you and U.S. Sen Marco Rubio of Florida opposed “bailouts” of insurance companies as part of Obamacare. They were referred to as risk corridors. Is it fair to say that withholding those payments destabilized the marketplace? And now, experts say, Republican are proposing insurance-company bailouts for the same reason, to stabilize the marketplace. Are you okay with voting for the bailouts in the current bill?
You’ve said an Obamacare replacement should lower premiums. The nonpartisan Kaiser Foundation says that, under the current bill, premiums would rise faster than under Obamacare. Would you vote for a senate bill if the Kaiser Foundation found that under the senate bill, premiums would rise faster than under Obamacare.
Please talk about your roll in drafting the bill. People don’t understand how you were a drafter of the bill, especially the Medicaid part, but never saw drafts of it.
You’ve said that if the senate doesn’t pass a bill, the only alternative to Obamacare is a single-payer system. Why do you think this?
The nonpartisan Colorado Health Institute estimates that Colorado would lose at least $14 billion in federal Medicaid funds during the first 10 years after passage of the senate bill. How would you cut Colorado’s Medicaid program in future years as federal funds decrease and lawmakers will have to reduce services?
Should Colorado pick up the tab for lost Medicaid funding, or should the next governor and state legislature push people off the rolls or cut services?
Along these lines, if the senate bill passes, would you support a tax increase in Colorado, so that the state could afford to cover children, seniors, and people with disabilities?
Federal law mandates that hospitals accept sick people in emergency rooms. So are you okay with pushing people off Medicaid and, in effect, forcing hospitals to pick up the tab for emergency room by, at least, some of them?
You’ve said you want to make Medicaid sustainable. Are you saying you want to cut Medicaid to make it sustainable? If not, how else would you achieve your goal of making it sustainable?
You will not reveal if you’d vote for the senate legislation as drafted. But do you support the framework of the bill, which is to take health insurance away from Medicaid recipients and give a tax cut to wealthy Americans?
Your opponents are concerned that Republicans want to all insurance companies to sell so-called “junk” plans, which require lots of out-of-pocket payments. If the senate bill lowers premiums for some people, but raises out-of-pocket costs for most everybody, does that mean that insurance is less expensive or more expensive?
Will you vote for the senate bill if there are no hearings and regular order, as you’ve promised?
Rural hospitals depend on Medicaid funding. Are you willing to assure rural Coloradans that no rural hospital will close, if the the senate bill became law?
Will you hold a town hall meeting on health care, and if not, why not?