U.S. Senate candidate and state Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Cañon City) says he would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if he was elected to be Colorado’s next senator.
Hanks was answering an audience question during an April 3 event called the Rally for the Colorado Red Wave at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison. Below is the audio and a transcript of the full exchange:
Audience Member: “Do you think you’re going to get rid of Obamacare if you get in there?”
RH: “Yeah, we could have done that a long time ago, if it wasn’t for McCain at the end.”
Audience Member: “Just the votes right?”
RH: “Yeah, just the votes.”
Audience Member: “You’d be a vote?”
RH: “Yeah. I’m gonna get rid of McConnell. The Government needs to be out of our healthcare in my view. Wouldn’t it be nice if our medical attention was between you and your doctor and between me and my doctor? And there’s no gatekeeper from the Government in the middle of it. I’d like to go back to those days.”
Hanks is a QAnon and election-fraud conspiracy theorist. He crossed police barriers while attending the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Last year, as a member of Colorado’s House of Representatives, Hanks made racist comments downplaying the Three/Fifths Compromise.
As of earlier this month, Hanks is one of two Republican nominees on the GOP primary ballot for U.S. Senate hoping to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).
Bennet voted in support of the ACA in 2009, his first year in the U.S. Senate, and has repeatedly defended Obamacare during his time in office. Bennet applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding the ACA in 2021. In 2019, he introduced legislation to expand the program.
Since the implementation of the ACA, Colorado has received approximately $10 billion in federal funds to pay for coverage under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion provision, according to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, which administrates the state’s public health care programs.
More than 500,000 Coloradans have gained access to health care coverage through Medicaid expansion. If the ACA were completely repealed health care experts claim that most of those Coloradans would become uninsured.
Hanks is not the only Republican hoping to repeal Obamacare. In March, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said he wants to see the GOP repeal the ACA if Republicans win back the Senate and House majorities as well as the 2024 presidential election.
Hanks did not respond to a request for comment by time of publishing. If a comment is provided this piece will be updated to include it.