Last week, Republicans in the Senate released their own comprehensive health care bill. If approved by Congress and President Trump, this bill would roll back health insurance gains for mid- and low-income Americans by removing consumer protections and cutting Medicaid to make tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans possible. A small group of Senate Republicans worked on this version behind closed doors with no input from health care consumers, experts, providers and insurers.
This secretive and undemocratic process has resulted in a piece of legislation that, as confirmed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, would fundamentally dismantle the progress made through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and destroy Colorado’s Medicaid program.
For most Coloradans in the private insurance marketplace, this means paying higher premiums for worse insurance or losing coverage entirely.
We believe all Coloradans need quality, affordable health care. This mean-spirited bill’s intent threatens that core principle and an appalling 22 million Americans would lose their health coverage should it be signed into law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly planning a vote on this reckless piece of legislation as early as the end of this week and he is relying on Sen. Cory Gardner to vote yes. Sen. Gardner has publicly stated that he will review the legislation before making a final decision on his vote. That’s why we need you to call Sen. Gardner at (202) 224-5941 and ask him to vote no.
Here are some points to convey when calling Sen. Gardner:
- The bill’s roll back of the Medicaid expansion will result in the loss of health coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Coloradans who simply have no other source of health care.
- The bill’s per-capita caps will squeeze down funding for the Medicaid program by at least 25 percent, leaving Colorado policymakers with impossible choices between funding services for children, working parents, people with disabilities and seniors.
- The bill penalizes older Americans by making premium tax credits dependent on income and age. Insurers can and will charge our elderly neighbors more on their premiums. Under this bill, they could pay over 15 percent of their income on premiums alone.
- The bill lets insurers withhold essential and potentially life-saving treatments – such as substance-abuse disorder treatments and behavioral health services — from consumers by allowing states to waive the essential health benefits provision of the ACA.
We applaud Sen. Michael Bennet’s rejection of the Senate bill as well as his call for a bipartisan effort to work in a transparent way to give Coloradans the health care system they need. Please urge Sen. Gardner to do the same.
Contact Sen. Gardner today. Share your stories and concerns, and demand that he vote against this legislation, because Colorado deserves better.