Vail Daily letter: Health care and Cory Gardner’s ideology
May 1, 2017
The U.S. Congress will be soon be revisiting their replacement for Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). The Republican congressional majority attempted to enact the American Health Care Act, which failed to make it to a vote within the House of Representatives. This saved Rep. Scott Tipton and, ultimately, Sen. Cory Gardner from revealing their stance on the American Health Care Act.
The failure of the Republican majority to reach a consensus was due to the significant ideological differences within the Republican Party itself. The far right Freedom Caucus (about 30 house members, which includes a single female and our own Ken Buck) pushed their ideology, which included no subsidies for premiums, getting rid of mandates, getting rid of essential health benefits such as maternity, preventative, mental health and addiction care, all the while accepting that 26 million more people were likely to become uninsured.
Other Republican house members, particularly those from the 32 states that expanded Medicaid coverage (Colorado being one of those states) may have seen some cruelty in that approach. In Colorado, our congress members have seen our uninsured rate cut in half, more than 2 million people with preexisting conditions getting care, a drop in medical bankruptcies and significant drops in the uncompensated care within health care facilities, etc. (coloradohealthinstitute.org).
So, where does Mr. Gardner's ideology stand regarding replacing the Affordable Care Act? We know that he has voted in complete conformity with the Republican Party while in the House and Senate (see votesmart.org), which included voting consistently and repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
As constituents, we deserve to know his answers to questions such as: Do you believe all American citizens should have affordable health care? Do you believe preventive, maternity and mental health care are "essential"? How do you feel about giving yourself a tax break by repealing the Affordable Care Act while removing health care subsidies for low-income citizens? Etc.
Mr. Gardner should be held accountable to hold a town hall (not a phone conversation) so that he may see the faces of his many constituents who will be affected by his ideological views.
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Donna Mumma, M.D.
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