Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner doubled down yesterday on his longstanding opposition to Obamacare, saying the national health insurance law has “failed” without offering a concrete plan to replace it.
Gardner’s comments, delivered on KNUS 710-AM’s Steffan Tubbs show, came as the Trump Administration announced yesterday that it will not defend Obamacare in court.
“We need to have Republicans and [laughs] Democrats recognize that the Affordable Care Act failed,” said Gardner, a Republican, when asked by Tubbs what he thought the latest GOP effort to kill the Affordable Care Act.
As part of his evidence for this, Gardner cited the discredited figure that “hundreds of thousands of Coloradans had their insurance plans canceled” due to Obamacare.
In a fact check of a campaign ad citing those numbers, then 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman pointed out that “it’s true that millions of people with individual coverage got cancellation notices because their old plans didn’t meet the standards of Obamacare…. But getting one of these notices is not the same thing as losing insurance.”
Gardner is apparently trying to make people think all these people lost their insurance, which is not the case. In fact, renewals were offered to the vast majority of people whose policies were canceled, and new policies were offered to all.
Gardner cited actions that could be taken to replace Obamacare.
“Let’s find a way to bring down the cost of health care, increase the quality of health care,” Gardner told Tubbs. “We can do that by expanding the risk pools, by expanding access to different policies of insurance. We allowing insurance to be sold across state lines. We can do it by creating association health plans. There’s so many different things that could be done–and not in a command-control kind of environment.”
But Gardner hasn’t put specific words on paper that can actually be discussed and analyzed and that add up to a plan to replace Obamacare, the various repeals of which could throw 20 million Americans off the health insurance rolls, including 12 million low-income people, according to independent analysts.
Even without an agreed-upon replacement plan, Republicans, led by Gardner in the U.S. Senate, tried three times — and failed — to kill Obamacare, the last effort ending with the downward thumb of former Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
In yesterday’s interview, as well as most instances where he talks about health care, Gardner references his aspiration that Democrats and Republicans work together to solve health care problems.
But he doesn’t appear to even take himself seriously when he says this, laughing as he says it: “We need to have Republicans and [laughs] Democrats recognize that the Affordable Care Act failed.”
If Gardner is serious about working with Democrats–especially now that Republicans have tried for seven years to kill Obamacare and failed even when they had the power in Washington to do so–why doesn’t he work across the aisle to try to fix the national health care law, instead of killing it?
A call to Gardner’s office with that question was not returned.
But Gardner stated this morning on KOA, “Instead of trying to protect something [Obamacare] that has failed over the last eight years or ten years, let’s figure out a better way for the American people.”
“Look, here’s what we need to do. We need to have Republicans and [laughs] Democrats recognize that the Affordable Care Act failed. The promises that were made by President Obama that, if you liked your health care you could keep your health care, reduce the case of health care by $2,000 for a family of four, are simply not true. Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans had their insurance plans canceled. We’ve seen dramatic cost increases. And whether it’s government mandating that you do this, whether its government policies, what we know is it simply did not meet the promises it was sold on.
So, let’s get together. Let’s find a way to bring down the cost of health care, increase the quality of health care. We can do that by expanding the risk pools, by expanding access to different policies of insurance. We allowing insurance to be sold across state lines. We can do it by creating association health plans. There’s so many different things that could be done–and not in a command-control kind of environment.
The Democrats want, and they are no longer bashful about this, they universal health care. They want socialized medicine. This may have been the first step toward that. I don’t think that’s what the American people want. What we need to do is come together with policies to fix this problem.”
This post was update with the Gardner statement on KOA.