UPDATE: See House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino noting for the record how manifestly stupid this was, as highlighted by Media Matters’ Political Correction blog this afternoon (right):
As the body’s minority leader, Democrat Mark Ferrandino, explained, without cooperation from the Democrat-dominated state Senate, whose approval is needed to make Colorado’s call for an unprecedented constitutional convention official, the resolution amounts to “a letter to Santa Claus.”
As the Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports:
State House members used their first vote of the year to pummel each other over a politically heated issue – repeal of President Barack Obama’s national health-care law.
House Resolution 1003 calls for a constitutional convention – America’s first since the days of Ben Franklin [Pols emphasis] – in order to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare…
The fight – the first floor debate of the 2012 session – was purely symbolic. It was a House-only resolution and did not seek approval from the Democratic-controlled Senate.
But, with at least four legislators running for Congress, the vote served as a reminder of how national politics will color the session. Minutes after the vote, the conservative group Compass Colorado was out with a news release headlined “Sal Pace Reiterates Support for Obamacare.”
We’ve already covered a number of utterly useless time-wasting pieces of legislation introduced this year by Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly–there’s Majority Leader Amy Stephens’ “Hickenlooper Gun Confiscation Prevention Act,” Sen. Greg Brophy’s welfare whiz-quiz bill, and the bid to reinstate the archaic Arveschoug-Bird spending limits of yesteryear. As silly and backward as these proposals may be, they at least affect some part of actual Colorado law–that is, the stuff Colorado legislators have some authority over.
This nonsensical resolution, asking for nothing short of a federal constitutional convention to repeal “Obamacare,” places the absurdity we can expect from this year’s General Assembly into a higher orbit. Even if you oppose the federal health reform bill passed in 2010, as some do, this is the kind of bug-eyed crazy talk you normally get from supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. And even if they had not envisioned a completely wacky “solution” in their resolution, didn’t we just reject a statewide “Obamacare repeal” initiative in 2010? So much for “the will of the voters?”
Anyway, here’s proof positive that those of you who predicted a session full of thoughtless partisan grandstanding over substance this election year…well, you’re right so far!
For good measure, a release from Protect Your Care Colorado follows debunking some of the wilder claims made yesterday about the Affordable Care Act. But this wasn’t about facts.
Hyper-partisan Hyperbole Dominates House Debate on Health Care Repeal Resolution
(Denver) – After a torrent of misleading statements about health care reform, the House passed a resolution today which called for a national constitutional convention to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“Today’s resolution demonstrates how hyper-partisanship drowns solid facts and analysis about how health care reform is already helping thousands of Coloradans gain access to quality care.
What will Rep. Balmer and Speaker McNulty tell the 291,000 children who can no longer be denied coverage based on a preexisting condition? Or the 620,000 Colorado Medicare beneficiaries who now have access to free preventive care services like cancer screenings and mammograms?” said Courtney Law, spokesperson for Protect Your Care Colorado.
Top Five Misleading Statements Made Today about the Affordable Care Act
STATEMENT: Rep. Looper: Seniors will be hit hard by the Affordable Care Act.
FACT: 3.8 million Americans who hit the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” received $250 tax-free rebates, and will likely receive a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole this year. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole completely. Taken together, the changes in the law will save seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare more than $3,500 over the next 10 years.
STATEMENT: Rep. Balmer: Federal health care reform will lead to job loss.
FACT: According to a 2011 Colorado Trust study, “In 2019, state economic output should be nearly 1% higher than it would be without reform and there will be roughly 19,000 new jobs as a result of the coverage expansion.”
STATEMENT: Rep. B. Gardner: The Affordable Care Act will lead to the rationing of health care.
FACT: Page 490 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act states,”(ii) The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”
STATEMENT: Rep. Holbert: The Affordable Care Act will mean fewer people are covered.
FACT: The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 32 million more people will have insurance in 2019 because of the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act has already helped 2.5 million additional young adults get health insurance
STATEMENT: Rep. Stephens: Families cannot afford the Affordable Care Act.
FACT: A recent study done by Families USA stated that, “On average, each household in Colorado will be $995 better off in 2019 due to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”
The Congressional Budget Office said the Affordable Care Act would save over $100 billion over the next ten years, and over $1 trillion in the following decade.