Local Press Turns on Gardner as “Trumpcare 3.0” Smoulders

One pissed-off Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Two stories up this afternoon from Denver TV political reporters bracket Sen. Cory Gardner with terrible coverage in the wake of the failure this week of the latest version of “Trumpcare,” legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act–and not just the more detailed Trumpcare plan, but now a fallback proposal to simple repeal Obamacare with no defined replacement appears to lack the support needed to move forward as well. This latest round of failures by Republicans to enact their campaign promise to repeal the ACA is by far the most politically damaging yet, leaving a party in total control of the legislative and executive branches looking like a pack of incompetent buffoons in the most charitable analysis. At worst, six years of scare tactics, legislative stonewalling, and self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and destruction has been exposed as a lie.

As 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports today, Gardner’s newfound vagueness on a bill he purportedly helped create doesn’t fit with his years of votes to repeal Obamacare–votes with no provision whatsoever for the Medicaid patients Gardner more recently claimed he wanted to protect. Votes that Gardner can’t make go away:

He never said how he planned to vote on the Senate’s healthcare bill before it died — even though he was on a small group of senators working on it. [Pols emphasis]

“Senator Gardner was still reviewing the legislation … ,” spokesperson Casey Contres told 9NEWS Tuesday afternoon. “He was actually scheduled to meet with [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] Administrator Seema Verma today to discuss several aspects of the bill and its impact on Colorado.”

Ah, but the context! The context:

The first vote he had on it in Congress came in 2011 when he voted for full repeal in the U.S. House of Representatives, promising that month “to get to work on legislation replacing the President’s healthcare law.”

That was six years ago.

Fast forward past a bunch more house votes against the Affordable Care Act to 2015. Gardner’s first year in the Senate.

On Dec. 3, Gardner voted with Senate Republicans to repeal Obamacare without replacement. When then President Barack Obama vetoed the bill, Gardner issued a statement saying Obama “chose politics over policy.”

But in 2016, the politics changed for Gardner…

The long history of the GOP-controlled Congress voting for wholesale repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with no “glide path” or any other meaningful consideration made for the millions of Americans who would either lose or never obtain coverage, makes it impossible for Republicans who made those votes to credibly cast themselves as defenders of the people they previously didn’t care to defend. The difference of course is that the legislation they are voting on might actually become law now, but that doesn’t change the fact that Republican politicians like Cory Gardner won elections on the promise to undo the Affordable Care Act. And they voted to do just that over and over.

Denver7’s Blair Miller gets it–and notes that Gardner didn’t seem very undecided at today’s press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“There are a lot of people out there today who seem to be spiking the football, trying to celebrate a moment that, for now, seems to leave the Affordable Care Act in place for today,” Gardner said…

Gardner, who voted in the Senate in 2015 to repeal Obamacare and send the bill to President Barack Obama’s desk (Obama vetoed the bill), also spent much of his time in the U.S. House of Representatives pushing for an Obamacare repeal and voting for any repeal measures when they came up. [Pols emphasis]

…Gardner used the football analogy multiple times in his brief on-camera statement to reinforce his displeasure with the bills’ failures because of a handful of his Republican colleagues and all of his Democratic colleagues.

So to summarize, Gardner was either undecided about the legislation, or he’s really mad at Democrats and Republicans who came out against it and are now “spiking the football!” The difference seems to be how you ask the question. Or maybe who’s asking. Either way, both of these stories return to the central fact that Gardner has been on the side of repealing the Affordable Care Act from the beginning, and that means the failure of the GOP as a whole to repeal it, with or without a replacement, is Gardner’s personal failure too. Gardner has nothing to show for any alleged attempts to soften the blow of repeal, having abandoned the Medicaid population he once claimed to support.

All Gardner has is a broken promise, and no one left to buy his excuses.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Sen. Gardner still has not taken a position on what should happen in the Senate of 2017.  Instead, we are left with various positions he's taken in the past, his vague statements of "studying" the drafts of 2017, and various facial expressions while standing next to Sen. McConnell.

    I've written frequently. The auto-response says "I appreciate hearing from you and knowing what issues are most important to you. I ask for your patience as we work to respond to the high volume of mail my office receives each day and will get back to you as quickly as possible."  Apparently, what is possible is an occasional email full of platitudes and assertions such as "It is vital that any health care plan offers states the flexibility they need, while also ensuring stability for Colorado’s sickest and most vulnerable patients. This is why we must reform our severely broken health care system."

    Now that the legislation appears to be dead, Sen. Gardner may never have to clarify what he prefers.

  2. Gray in Mountains says:

    Hmmm. Cory isn't wearing his multmillion dollar Senate pin. Must have lost it at a town hall meeting

    • MichaelBowman says:

      That's 'Chiseled Cory' from the last election cycle before he got his pin. The recent photo ops from his extensive western slope Town Hall meeting extravaganza seem to indicate he's lapsed back into his 'eastern Colorado look', the one most of us sport in the rural hinterlands. Those 9-course meals at Mar-a-Largo and the Broadmoor – and the extra scoop of ice-cream he's getting from the White House for being a good soldier, appear to be catching up with him. 

  3. unnamed says:

    How dare our opponents spike the football.

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Now we know what his face looks like under the smile.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    Last line of article is false.  There are plenty of Trumpettes who will believe his lies.  Getting to 50.1% is going to be his biggest problem in the next three years.

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    That's the look of a Yuman right after Wray has beat them in football. 


  7. unnamed says:

    Maybe now Moldy Anus can explain how just repealing Obamacare BENEFITS Americans who lose their healthcare due to said repeal.

  8. Genghis says:

    It'll be interesting to see how the Post editorial board spins Gardner's deplorable behavior regarding this abomination of a bill into the greatest acts of political courage  in human history.

    • unnamed says:

      I'm hoping after the dust up with disabled protesters at his Denver office and their response, that they're done carrying his water.

      • Genghis says:

        It'd certainly be nice if some good came out of that ghastly mess. I reckon its up to us to ensure that memory of those incidents persists through Gardner's reelection campaign.

    • Davie says:

      Today's DP editorial is back to pushing Mike Coffman who is proposing the usual GOP BS:

      1.  Medicaid block grants — that way, we can cut federal Medicaid dollars by pushing it onto the states, so when people lose coverage, it's not my fault

      2.  Cut Medicaid Expansion funding ratio from 90/10 to 50/50 so when states have to balance their budgets by cutting Medicaid, it's not my fault

      3.  Push the taxes funding ACA over to the general "tax reform" bill, so when we cut taxes and funding for ACA, causing Medicaid and individual policy holders costs to skyrocket, it won't be my fault

      4.  Healthcare "Reform" — We in the GOP have taken several steps to sabotage the ACA, destabilizing many markets, killing funding for the risk corridors, etc.  Let's see if we can rope the Dems into taking the blame by dangling a carrot in front of them that we're actually serious about fixing any of these issues, but actually just cutting taxes again for our benefactors.

      (translated from native GOPperish to English)

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