Should Health Reform Cover Pre-Existing Conditions? Gardner: No

A major liability hanging over the candidacy of Rep. Cory Gardner for the U.S. Senate is video from a 2010 congressional primary debate from Gardner's run for CD-4, wherein Gardner proudly declares his support for the "Personhood" abortion ban–even going so far as to tell how he helped circulate the petition to get the measure on the ballot.

Here's another clip from the same 2010 debate that could well pose trouble for Gardner in his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. As you watch this, keep in mind the mood of the Republican primary electorate in 2010, with the "Tea Party" raging and "Obamacare" a fresh scare story:

ADAM SCHRAGER: Coverage of pre-existing conditions: have to be a part of any health care reform?

DIGGS BROWN: Absolutely.

SCHRAGER: Mr. Gardner?

CORY GARDNER: No. [Pols emphasis]

SCHRAGER: Mr. Lucero?

DEAN MADERE: Honestly, no, I don't think the federal government should be getting involved in the health care system.

SCHRAGER: Mr. Lucero?

TOM LUCERO: No.

In this remarkable fifteen seconds of video, not just Gardner, but every single candidate in the CD-4 primary except for former Fort Collins City Councilman Diggs Brown says that pre-existing conditions do not need to be covered as part of health care reform. The mandate that insurance companies cover patients with pre-existing conditions, who were in many cases uninsurable prior to the Affordable Care Act, is one of the most popular parts of President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law. In the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney repeatedly assured voters that his "plan" for health care reform would also cover pre-existing conditions. The promise that this basic component of health care reform would not go away under a Republican administration has always been vital to the "replace" part of the GOP's "repeal and replace" mantra against the ACA.

But here's GOP Senate frontrunner Cory Gardner, who apparently isn't so concerned with the "replace" part of "repeal and replace"–at least not where it concerns pre-existing conditions! That may have been the right answer in Gardner's 2010 primary, but the statewide electorate in 2014 is likely to find that a harsh prescription.

When we say that Gardner is not the savior in the 2014 U.S. Senate race that Republicans apparently think he is today, moments like this are why–and this video clip is unlikely to be the last. The fact is, Gardner has never had to run in a competitive race outside a beet-red Republican district, either in the legislature or in Congress. And the things Gardner said to win then hurt him now.

41 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

    I'm OK with insurers kicking sick people to the curb until they die so they can make more money.

    Boom.  That one IS gonna hurt.

  2. Not that I was ever voting for him, but that response would have lost me if I were an independent voter.

    Anyone who was in Colorado's high risk has also probably just written Gardner off of their Christmas card list, too, as prices for many people in the pool just dropped significantly thanks to Obamacare.

  3. CaninesCanines says:

    TV commercial: "Cory Gardner doesn't want me to have health insurance because I have a pre-existing condition. I'm a mother of two, expecting my third child. I just don't think that's right."

  4. DawnPatrol says:

    Methinks the trolls be a wee bit nervous suddenly. Note their agitated over-responding. Very telling.

  5. itlduso says:

    Covering pre-existing conditions was, in my opinion, the best feature of the ACA.  I'd venture to say that everyone knows someone in their close sphere of family and friends who has a pre-existing condition of some sort.  Gardner's position will allow Dems to highlight this feature of Obamacare that probably has eluded much of the populace.

    • BlueCat says:

      Absolutely. And those with pre-existing conditions of an even moderately serious nature couldn't afford to leave a job where they were already covered to go into business for themselves before ACA. If it does nothing else (and it does some other good things) ACA frees those people and people who just didn't think they could afford to give up their job related insurance to get out there and be innovative entrepreneurs. Job lock has been a major drag on entrepreneurship, one that makes us less competitive with other countries where no one has to give insurance a thought if they want to start a business.  Dems need to play that way up instead of running away, as usual , from the challenge of  addressing the GOTP spin machine.

  6. BlueCat says:

    A  final word on this subject. Even if the right can find a few genuine stories of people losing great insurance and having to pay much more to get insurance just as good, and so far none has appeared here or in the Post or on Fox etc. that hasn't been debunked, there can be no denying two simple facts.

    One, many more people have suffered due to being unable to get affordable coverage due to preexisting conditions and will continue to do so if the Gardners have their way than could ever be seriously affected in a negative way by ACA.  The Gardners care only about their sterile ideology. Not real people. To them it's totally worth it that people should go uninsured and without good health care in the service of their ideology.

    Two, millions can be freed by ACA to create new businesses and new jobs as it eliminates job block. This can be an important component of  recharging our economy as a whole and creating living wage jobs for more workers. Republicans are supposed to like policies that create opportunities for individual initiative and jobs. Why don't the Gardners support the aspect of ACA that does just that? Because they won't support anything from this President or from Dems in general, good or bad,  whether or not their opposition helps or hurts real people. 

    As long as Dems are smart enough to stick to those two clear messages, debunking every phony scare story, they can win the message war both on the issue of security in knowing you'll be able to get coverage if you lose your job even if you're a diabetic or  cancer survivor and on the economics of encouraging entrepreneurship to flourish. 

    Dem candidates and ops, get out there and sell those excellent and conveniently true messages. Don't run and hide and let the righties do all the selling. The Dem message, unlike the GOTP message, is the truth and so can't be debunked. The GOTP message can easily be debunked as long as you don't let them cow you by using real sick people you're afraid of looking "mean" to by telling the truth. Those sick people are being used and need to hear the truth, too. Some of them may even accept it. Take advantage of the truth.

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