Jason Salzman, Colorado Times Recorder
In a recent radio interview, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) complained that his opponents are going to lie about him by claiming he’s against guaranteeing insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions when, in fact, he supports such coverage.
Gardner told KHOW’s Dan Caplis last month that Democrats and Republicans can agree that people with preexisting conditions should “have coverage — required coverage.”
“That’s what we’ll fight for and continue to succeed with,” Gardner said on air. “Now, people are going to lie about it. People are going to try to say that that’s false.”
So is it, in fact, false to say Gardner fights to require coverage for people with pre-existing conditions?
If you judge Gardner by what he says then, yes, he wants people with pre-existing conditions to have required coverage. He says it all the time.
But if you judge him by his votes, then you’d conclude that Gardner wants to eliminate or gut the requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions.
“Gardner saying that he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions is re-writing the record of how he voted during the Obamacare repeal process,” said Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Engagement with the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “Every bill that Gardner voted for that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act would have weakened or completely undermined the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
Fox says that includes Gardner’s multiple votes to kill Obamacare in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
Now, even though he says Obamacare has “absolutely failed” and he continues to want Congress or the Supreme Court to kill it, Gardner still has no plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions if the ACA is overturned or voted down.
Gardner did not return a call asking why he’s voted against protecting people with pre-existing conditions, when he claims to fight for them. Neither did he provide his plan, if he has one, to protect people with pre-existing conditions as well or better than Obamacare does.