As Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner faces tough telephone town-hall questions on his unsuccessful health care votes and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., touts bipartisan reform solutions, Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is preaching vigilance.
“This fight is far from over,” Bennet wrote in a recent email statement. “Make no mistake: Republicans will not give up on their disastrous threat to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. They’ve been trying for years, and they came dangerously close to passing a bill — under a president [Donald Trump] who would actually sign it into law.”
Gardner, who earlier this month voted unsuccessfully several times to dismantle the ACA, or Obamacare, fielded a long list of health-care questions during Wednesday’s telephone session.
“I think we can do better,” Gardner told an estimated 6,000 listeners. “I’m going to continue to work to repair the damage of Obamacare … I understand your frustration and disappointment. There is no easy thing to do when it comes to health care. That’s why we have to get it right.”
But Bennet argues getting it right means fixing the ACA’s problems, not gutting its key provisions and leaving millions without insurance while driving up rates for others.
“Republicans will try again, and if they succeed, they’ll rip lifesaving health insurance away from millions of people,” Bennet wrote. “In Colorado, that could lead to hospital closures and insurers bolting from the market. It’s almost impossible to believe, but the GOP is willing to let people die just to settle a political score.”
While Gardner voted repeatedly against Obamacare and in favor of the Senate version of Trumpcare, Coffman voted against the American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed the House in May.
Despite many times voting to repeal the ACA when President Barack Obama was in the White House with his veto pen, Coffman, facing reelection in a politically diverse 6th Congressional District, was the only Colorado Republican to vote against Trumpcare in the House.
Now Coffman is part of the bipartisan Problem Solvers caucus aiming to find workable solutions to runaway health insurance and health care costs. At a recent town hall, Coffman told the angry crowd that “partisanship is in my view the greatest problem in Washington, D.C.,” according to the Denver Post.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has blasted Congress for leaving town for the August recess without passing some version of Trumpcare, and he’s cast doubt on whether he’ll continue to provide funding for subsidies to insurance companies to help cover lower-income Americans.
Republicans and Democrats have joined in imploring the president to help stabilize the markets as key fall deadlines loom and insurance companies set rates for the coming year. Vox.com provides this useful primer on those deadlines and what the Trump administration can do to give the individual markets a boost.