U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) is making conflicting statements on whether he wants to continue to give health insurance to the 400,000 Coloradans, including 14,000 in his district, who got health insurance under Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid.
This raises the familiar question with Coffman. Where does he really stand?
If he sticks with his support for the phase out the Medicaid expansion, as proposed in the GOP legislation to repeal Obamacare, Coffman would be taking a position in line with his stance on the expansion when it was first proposed in the Affordable Care Act.
Discussing the Obamacare legislation in 2009, before it became law, Coffman called the proposed medicaid expansion “very radical.”
Coffman: “Although when you look underneath the surface, there are some very radical elements to this bill such as the expansion of Medicaid, a government run healthcare program.”
Coffman’s thinking in 2009 is in line with the Republican Obamacare replacement bill, which would phase out the expansion of Medicaid and which would eventually throw a total of 600,000 Coloradans off the insurance rolls, and is up for a U.S. House vote Thursday.
Coffman said Saturday that he’d vote for the GOP bill “in its current form.” A spokesman subsequently told 9News that Coffman was still reviewing the bill. Then Coffman told constituents on a telephone call that he supported the GOP health bill but was concerned about the impact on Medicaid expansion.
In a March 7 radio interview, Coffman explained in more detail why he thinks the GOP healthcare bill “does a good job in terms of Medicaid expansion.” Coffman likes how the bill reforms the “entire Medicaid system” and sends it “down to the states.”
Coffman: Okay. So what it essentially does, is it takes those who would prospectively be eligible for the Medicaid expansion, going forward, as we phase it out, and it offers them the ability — nobody’s forced in this — to have what’s called an advanceable, refundable tax credit. And it essentially is — will pay for, uh, pretty – most of their premium costs. And will push that population into the individual insurance market. And so, I get that it is controversial, but is in fact a replacement, of sorts, for the Medicaid expansion…
Coffman: I — well, you know, I think the bill, in my view, does a good job in terms of Medicaid expansion, from my perspective, you know, but we have to reform the entire Medicaid system, and so we can debate that on the mar–. You know, is it a block grant, at the end of the day? Is it some sort of capitated amount per enrollee? But I think, at the end of the day, we’ve got to stop managing this program out of Washington DC. We’ve got to devolve it down to the states.
Does Coffman still believe this, in light of conflicting statements in the past 10 days?
Given his position in 2009 when he was up front about his position against Obamacare, plus the fact that the majority of Coffman’s statements, including all the comments that came from his mouth as opposed to a spokesperson’s, point to his support of the GOP bill, you’d be on solid ground in concluding that, yes, Coffman is ready to take health insurance away from Coloradans who got it under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.