In response to the growing outcry over the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 24 million Americans could lose their health insurance under a proposed GOP replacement plan, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) told a conservative talk radio host today that the Trump Administration should step up repealing the national health care law by taking actions that “won’t ever be scored by the Congressional Budget Office.”
“We also, I believe, need the Administration to move forward with some of its executive actions [to repeal parts of Obamacare],” Gardner told KHOW 630-AM’s Ross Kaminsky. “Those executive actions they can take won’t ever be scored by the Congressional Budget Office. That’s not what the Congressional Budget Office does. But if they take those actions, it could result in significant improvement in the current system.”
Gardner is referring to Trump Administration actions that, analysts say, could throw the national healthcare law into a “death spiral,” even without any action by Congress. Broadly, those actions, some of which have already been taken, would undermine enforcement of the requirement that Americans buy health insurance, undermining the core of the law. At the same time, Trump could make it more difficult and less attractive for people to buy insurance through the exchanges.
With respect to Gardner’s previously stated desire for the Obamacare replacement to provide more stability for those on Medicaid, Gardner said he wants to see changes in the proposed House bill to address his concerns, released in a joint letter.
“The bottom line is, the letter we sent talked about the need to repeal and replace Obamacare, because it’s a disaster for the American people,” Gardner told Kaminsky.
To do this, Gardner said he wants the political parties in Washington DC, instead of standing in their “respective corners and finger points at each other,” to “come together and find some relief for the American people.”
He was not asked why, during Gardner’s first two years in power, he didn’t call for bipartisan efforts to improve Obamacare, before Republicans took power.
“One of the concerns I have is the politics of Washington DC today,” Gardner said on air. “You have a group of people, namely Democratic members of the House and Senate, who are celebrating this CBO score, saying it spikes the football on the replacement of Obamacare. Here’s the problem. Under Obamacare, millions of Americans had their health insurance canceled. Millions of Americans are seeing prices increase to the point they can’t afford it. Millions of people have insurance that they can’t use because they can’t afford to use it. And now it’s almost like they’ve changed their position to one of we’d like to continue to hurt people by keeping people on the Affordable Health Act and won’t even discuss replacing it. So I think Washington DC needs a little time to think about what’s good for the American people instead of the party bottom line.”
Under the Obamacare rollout, some Americans were asked to renew their insurance policies, but they were not left without insurance.
Gardner promised Kaminsky that Republicans would institute an inclusive process to get the health care bill passed.
“It will be an open process in the House, unlike the [Obamacare] bill six years ago,” said Gardner.
Unmentioned on air was the secretive unveiling of the GOP bill, as well as efforts to pass it quickly, as underscored by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who walked around the Senate buildings with a copy machine so he could duplicate the bill and read it.
Listen to Gardner on KHOW 630-AM Thursday, March 14: