Vail Daily letter: Sen. Gardner’s recent health care vote was dismaying | VailDaily.com

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Vail Daily letter: Sen. Gardner’s recent health care vote was dismaying

Editor's note: Find a cited version of this letter at http://www.vaildaily.com

An open letter to Sen. Cory Gardner:

We are dismayed by your votes regarding health care in the Senate last week. While your party was not able to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, you voted in favor of a bill that would have been catastrophic for Coloradans.

The so-called "skinny repeal" received your support last week. That bill would have stripped health care coverage from 269,000 Coloradans. It would have caused average annual premiums to increase by $7,511. Finally, the repeal bill you voted for would have caused uncompensated care for hospitals in our state to rise by $242 million dollars — financially devastating.

Not only were the potential outcomes of the legislation harmful to Coloradans, the process in which you participated to get that bill to a vote was wrong. There were no Senate committee hearings. You were a member of a "working group" of 13 senators that excluded women. No expert testimony was considered. You provided no explanation to your constituents. Instead, you allowed a bill to go to the floor in the middle of the night without any of the democratic procedures most legislation is afforded.

We understand that the Affordable Care Act can be improved. We call on our Democratic Party leaders to work with you and your Republican colleagues to expand coverage, not reduce it. Health care premiums in our mountain region are higher than anywhere else in the state. We urge you and Sen. Bennet to get to work, find common ground and propose reforms to make health care affordable and accessible to all Coloradans. We know that he is ready to find bipartisan solutions. Are you?

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Reform will not happen by engaging in a politically craven process. You prevailed in the 2014 election because of your promise to represent all citizens of our state and to get results. That is not what you did last week. We will not forget your actions surrounding this health care bill and hope that you can do better. Health care impacts all of us, regardless of party affiliation. Please start putting your constituents ahead of politics.

Eagle County Democratic Party