CO Sens. should oppose any bill that ends Medicaid expansion, caps or cuts Medicaid, or makes coverage less affordable

MEDIA RELEASE
June 21, 2017
Contact: Katie Reinisch, 303-653-1009, [email protected]
Adam Fox, 303-839-1261,
[email protected]

This statement can be attributed to Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Engagement of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative:

“In about a week, Senate Republicans hope to pass their unpopular bill without even a tip of the hat to transparency. If the House version of the bill is any indication, the Senate’s version, which is being reported as potentially even more draconian, l will almost undoubtedly hurt Coloradans. While this bill affecting one-sixth of our economy is supposedly going to be released this week, the public has yet to see  any concrete information on it mere days before the Senate is expected to vote.”

“Almost every constituent has been kept in the dark, including health care experts, Democratic senators, members of the U.S. House, doctors and nurses, health care consumers, Medicaid recipients, businesses and taxpayers.”

“Senator Cory Gardner has had a hand in drafting the bill, and while he recently said the process should be more open with public hearings, we are asking him to take action to make it a more transparent process. He says the fault lies with dysfunction and partisanship in Washington, yet he himself is in the group of 13 Senators negotiating this bill. If anything, this should make it easier for him to change the process and make it more open.”

“We urge Senator Gardner to represent Coloradans and stand up for a more transparent process so his constituents have a real opportunity to weigh in on this bill. He’s talked in generalities about the bill, but provided no specifics. He claims he met with hospital and physician associations, but no information has been made public.”

“He may say he’s received public input, but he hasn’t given us his.  We want to know, what does he think of the cuts to Medicaid that would strip coverage from thousands of Colorado children, seniors and people with disabilities? Or the fact that these cuts would leave a gaping $14 billion hole in our state budget by 2030? What about pre-existing condition protections?”

“He said he wants a “glide path” for people who will lose Medicaid under the AHCA, but they will experience little more than a “crash path” when the cuts go into effect. He has not said how he expects Coloradans to be able to afford their coverage when their premiums go through the roof as is predicted under this bill.”

“Senator Gardner should not fuel the dysfunction in Washington by negotiating a bill behind closed doors while saying he believes the process should be more open. Republicans are ashamed of their proposal, and for good reason; it is a shameful bill that will rip health coverage away from 600,000 Coloradans to give tax cuts to millionaires.”

“Enough. Colorado’s Senators can prevent the bill’s harmful cuts and other changes from becoming law. They should reject any bill that takes coverage away from people, ends the Medicaid expansion, caps or cuts the Medicaid program, makes insurance coverage unaffordable, or takes away protections from people with health conditions.”

“Senator Gardner should release the details of the bill he has helped to craft and allow for experts and his constituents to have adequate time to study it and provide input. Or, he should publicly call for a delay in the vote so a more public and transparent process can take place. Anything less is a disservice to Coloradans and our democracy.

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Colorado Consumer Health Initiative represents 45+ Colorado organizations and individual members representing more than 500,000 Colorado consumers, advocating for affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Coloradans. 

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