New Gardner Ad Attacks Udall For…Wait For It…

brokenrecord

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, here we go again–and again, and again:

When Republican Congressman Cory Gardner launched his U.S. Senate campaign in late February, he talked almost exclusively about his Democratic opponent’s support for Obamacare.

Since then, Obamacare has receded a bit as a GOP attack line as polling has indicated that Obamacare-related attacks aren’t getting much traction with voters… [Pols emphasis]

Obviously, those polls were wrong! Because Obamacare is still what Cory Gardner is spending money to talk about.

“When our family’s healthcare plan was cancelled because of Obamacare last year, we felt firsthand the painful effects of Senator Udall’s support for Obamacare. Countless families have seen their premiums rise, lost access to their doctors, or lost their health insurances plans altogether — they have Senator Udall to thank.”

Holding what’s apparently the cancellation letter his family received, Gardner notes in the ad that “335,000 Coloradans had their plans cancelled too.”

It's good question–is there anyone in Colorado who hasn't heard the GOP's story of the "335,000 Coloradans who had their health insurance plans cancelled?" If so, they must live in a cave with no radio or television reception, because this talking point has been used so many times since last October's rollout of the Affordable Care Act that is really seems to be the only thing Republicans know how to say about the law.

Never mind that it's, and this has got to be the hundredth time we've said so as well, completely bogus.

manyoptions

The amazing thing is, we've known this was a false claim almost since the day it was first heard. Last December, the Denver Post reported that over 90% of Colorado health plan holders who received a "cancellation letter" received renewal options with the same letter. Before President Barack Obama allowed existing plans to renew, Colorado exchange officials had already determined that they could do the same thing. This means those plans were either renewed per those instructions, or replaced with new plans that met the standards of the Affordable Care Act and–especially when subsidies are calculated–cost consumers substantially less money.

And that's what makes this a truly baffling theme for Gardner to keep harping on: this isn't last October. All these months later, Coloradans know the sky did not fall with the implementation of Obamacare. They can see with their own eyes that the GOP's outlandish scare tactics were not accurate. They know that those 335,000 "cancelled" Coloradans were not left without health insurance as Republicans would like them to believe: in fact the percentage of Colorado residents without insurance has plunged since Obamacare rolled out, from 17% to only 11% of the population.

Look, folks, we understand why Republicans invested so much money and credibility into the years-long assault on Obamacare. It has given the GOP an issue to rally their base around, and trouble with the rollout of the law has extended the issue's viability for them longer than they could have hoped. Backlash against the law, even based on falsehoods, helped the GOP achieve one of the greatest congressional victories in modern times back in 2010. Setting aside the moral questions, this has been an effective political weapon–up to a point.

But that point is long past now. Today, now that it contradicts what the voters can see, it's insanity to keep insisting disaster has either already befallen or is still somehow lurking.

45 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    This is the same man who voted to gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the Farm Bill.  A man whose district is drowning in childhood poverty.  Spare me the crocodile tears and your faux concern for struggling Coloradans.

  2. horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

    You are going to be offered a new plan at a decent price that actually covers stuff, has no lifetime caps and does not exclude you if you have pre-existing conditions. 

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  3. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Obamacare is not very popular outside of the Polster bubble.

    It would not have passed but for Mark Udall.

    Udall lied about it and now the chickens have come home to roost.

    I look forward to hearing about that for another say, 90 days.

    • denverco says:

      I hope the gop goes down the rabbit hole too AC – and take con man cory with them and you http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/why-the-gop-will-lose-its_b_4903042.html

    • DavieDavie says:

      AC — (quoting from Denverco's link above) so this is what has you and Cory's panties all in a twist?

      What's more, since Obamacare was passed, health care costs have gone up at the slowest rate ever recorded — and the Congressional Budget Office recently confirmed that the ACA will cut the deficit at least $1.2 trillion over the next two decades.

      Consumer protections have gone into effect that most people do not want the Republicans to take away. Voters simply don't want to go back to the days when insurance companies could enforce life time benefit caps, or cut off policies if you get sick, deny coverage or charge exorbitant premiums if you have a pre-existing condition, or charge you more for coverage because you are a woman.

      Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured people have been able to find coverage for less than $100 per month — often with government subsidies that make health insurance affordable

      Most important, there are more and more examples every day of people whose lives have literally been saved by the Affordable Care Act — people who couldn't afford check ups who have found they needed life saving procedures after they got ACA coverage; people who couldn't afford life saving therapies without going bankrupt or would simply would have died without their new health care coverage.

      If this article and the one below are correct, then the only Obamacare Death panel might be the one that kills the GOTP :-)

    • Progressicat says:

      It would not have passed but for Mark Udall.

      Let's split that hair for a second.  The Affordable Care Act would not have come forward for a vote but for Mark Udall.

      The senate voted to end debate, what's called cloture, 60-39.  This is the vote where Udall could be considered necessary, since cloture was necessary to stop the Republicans from filibustering the Act (and every other piece of legislation since, it seems) and cloture requires a 3/5 vote.  Udall's vote was not at all necessary for passage of the ACA since there were also 60 votes to pass and the act would have passed even if 10 fewer folks had voted for it.

      If the standard we're going to set for people is that a vote to allow a vote is "teh CR1T1C4L," God help the Senate, which is supposed to be the least insane house of Congress.

    • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

      Birth certificates !

      Death panels !

      Benghazi !

      Obamacare !

      Strategery at its finest.

    • BlueCat says:

      The usual AC fact free bla bla. We all know AC is a coward and a liar. 

    • nota33 says:

      The GOP aren't very popular you moron. In fact, according to a new poll, the American people give the GOP a 19% approval rating. This lying POS Gardner has voted over 50 times to repeal Obamacare which would strip millions of Americans of their new health insurance they got from Obamacare. You republicans are evil people. Mr. Personhood cannot hide from his extreme views and his extreme record.

  4. Robb says:

    See, guys — he's not for the 1%! He's for the 5% who care about changing Obamacare! 

  5. FrankUnderwood says:

    Where is that graphic of the guy w/ the cane beating the dead horse…….

  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I think the number of some 330,000 policies getting cancelled is correct. However, what isn't said is that 90 to 95% of those who got cancelled got new policies. What I don't recall is how many had premium increases, if that info was even known (see, I'm an honest Republican who will admit to not knowing something rather than making something up, El Rushbo style). 

  7. C A Martin says:

    Was this a genuine news article or an anti- Republican/Gardner political ad?

    The premium for my family of four is just shy of $12,000 a year making it unaffordable and if paid for, a $4,000 yearly deductable makes it all but useless.

    If Gardner is getting "millions" from the Koch brothers as Udall ads say (which I'm quite sure is a lie) then where is all the ads reflecting that? I'm drowning in Udall ads, where is all HIS money coming from?

    • Progressicat says:

      It sounds like you'd be much better off not taking insurance and paying the small penalty instead.  Unfortunately, this is what results from our failure to take a single payer approach to healthcare– people end up in situations where healthcare is unaffordable.

    • Republican 36 says:

      What policy are you describing and from what health insurance company? I have family members on the new health care exchange here in Colorado and a policy for a family of four cost nowhere near that amount. Please provide the facts.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      CA Martin,

      1. It was a political ad, paid for by Karl Rove's group, Crossroads GPS, for Gardner, attacking Udall, and reported on by Eli Stokols on Fox News.

      2. Gardner is apparently getting millions from the Koch brothers. Several unions have sponsored ads, and there are extensive articles documenting this, and are all available for your viewing pleasure at this link: http://www.kochbrothers-corygardner.com/

      IF you show the slightest interest, I will post endless links  to Influence explorer and other sites that show the same thing. I saw a spreadsheet with $39,000 in contributions this year for Gardner from Koch Industries and Koch family members. If you encourage me at all, I will feel compelled to paste a screenshot of the spreadsheet on this thread. I'm weird that way.

      3. I'm curious – if you're from Colorado, did you check into the health exchange to see if your family would be eligible for a subsidy? If 12K a year is not affordable, there should have been an advance tax credit available to offset it.  The next open enrollment period is not til November 2015, unless you have a qualifying life event like birth, death, pregnancy, disability before then. See http://www.cohealthinfo.com/faqs/connect-for-health-colorado-marketplace/

      • C A Martin says:

                 As of end of July PAC money to Udall 2.9 million; cash on hand 5.7 million

        As of end of July PAC money to Gardner 1.3 million; cash on hand 3.4 million

        YTD (July) Udall 13.9 mil.;  Gardner 5 mil. 

        Gardner is not getting "millions" from the Kochs, maybe about 1.75 mil. in ad buys from their PAC since March, which is part of the 2.9 previously mentioned. Regardless it's obvious where the big money is going. Influence Explorer is very interesting. Udall is getting a far, far greater percentage of his money from out of state(more than 50%) to Gardners 15%? and a much greater overall amount 7.3mil. to Gardners 2.2mil. Bookmarked that site! Thats handy.

        Not the ad being referenced but this article right here is the one I speak of. I was hoping for a little more balance for a local site.

        I'm $ 2,000 over the limit or there abouts, for any subsidy at all including CHP/PEAK, cant remember if it was bronze or silver, I'm assuming bronze. I would give more info but I can no longer access my application since it was never activated back from Feb, I believe it was. Will try again in Nov. with different figures. Going to check out that advanced tax credit, I dont remember that, maybe something I can use, thanks.

    • Cogito says:

      Here C A Martin I have to voice some support for your* numbers against their* scepticism.  As a family of four tobacco-clean Jeffco residents the cheapest policy we could get is $863 with a $5k deductible.   That does not meet my definition of affordable either.

      • BlueCat says:

        Could you have gotten better coverage for less before ACA?  That's the salient question here though I completely agree that civilized 21st century universal coverage, such as the rest of the civilized nations of the world have, is the real answer. 

        If you were just going without coverage or with one of those cheap but essentially phony plans that wouldn't come anywhere near covering anything, then how cheap do you suppose that would have turned out for taxpayers if anything happened to you or your family? 

        Righties don't like ACA because they prefer to pretend they aren't paying for other people's healthcare in spite of the universal coverage via the ER system, the lowest quality most expensive universal coverage system on the planet. Sensible people aren't satisfied with ACA because they realize that a universal public plan (for example by making medicare universal) would put us on a par with countries that provide high quality care to all their citizens at half what we spend per capita but do realize that it's an improvement over what was available before: Very costly insurance that could be yanked out from under us at the whim of the insurers in the only modern industrialized country where people who paid for insurance all their lives could find themselves bankrupted nonetheless by a serious illness.

        ACA is not nearly enough but pre-ACA was much worse. If we had enough sense to reject conservative theory on the subject and cries of "socialism" we wouldn't be stuck with nothing better than ACA (the product of rightie think tanks) or the old barbaric system as our choices. We're pathetic letting righties keep us in line by yelling "socialism" as if we were a bunch of little kids scared to death by someone jumping out of a closet and yelling "boo". 

        • Cogito says:

           I don't need to go through the exchange for insurance but wanted to test CA Martin's numbers.

          I support the ACA as a step in the right direction.  However, I don't agree that there is only one "salient point" and that it is whether there was a plan just as good or better available to me for less before the ACA.  Acknowledging the current shortcomings of the law as implemented is also a salient point.   Being honest in communication is another.  And I think it is dishonest to pretend that $823 (I originally mistyped as $863) a month is an affordable monthly payment for most families of four. 

          What about subsidies to make it affordable?  From what I could tell, a family of four that makes less than $103,000 would qualify for a subsidy at this level.  But if we assume each parent is making $45k a year, the subsidy is $110 a month.  So now we are at $713 a month.  Sounds right, as subsidies are supposed to keep the cost of premiums equal to 9.5% of annual income.  But is it really "affordable" to pay 10% of your annual income to a company and not see anything in return unless you have already paid as much as another 10% that year in medical bills?

          • BlueCat says:

            Still. Was it more affordable for that family before ACA?  If not, ACA isn't hurting them. If it's less expensive with the ACA subsidies then it would have been before ACA then ACA is helping them. You can't consider any set of numbers in a vacuum.

            • Cogito says:

              The premiums and coverage in this plan are worse than what I was quoted 15 months ago when my husband was between jobs.  But we would have paid more out-of-pocket then versus now because if he had been unemployed in 2014 we would now qualify for subsidies to defray the cost of those premiums.  So the family may be better off but the insurance company is also better off with other difference covered by the taxpayers.  As I said, I support ACA because something had to change but there is still a lot wrong with the system.

              • BlueCat says:

                Agree. It's still not civilized 21st century healthcare coverage such as the rest of the modern industrialized world has. Still great for a for profit industry that does nothing but get between people and and their healthcare and add cost and layers of corporate bureaucracy and not so great for the people.

          • ct says:

            ACA has resulted in more out of pocket expense for me, assuming I don't go past my deductible.  If I max out the deductible, its a wash premium-wise for slightly better coverage.  Part of the problem is the way the state implemented it with the regions, some of which in Western Colorado are very problematic.  I still support it and I'm still voting for Udall, btw for Trolls who might use thier own inability to accpet nuance as refletion of some electoral generalizations.  But we need a public option at a minimum, single payer would be best.  

      • Progressicat says:

        Just a quick question on the deductible.  Is the $5,000 a family deductible?  I ask because such deductibles are commonly "stacked."  Typically ,that would be individual deductibles of $1,250 (same as mine, actually) and a total family deductible of $5,000.  The idea being that once any individual reaches the $1,250 limit, insurance starts paying for their care, but if the famliy pays out a total of $5,000 for any combination of members, insurance starts paying for everybody's care.  That's actually what passes for a pretty good deal under our failed, market-based insurance system, before or after the ACA was passed.

        • Cogito says:

          The $5000 deductible is per person.  See these numbers pulled directly from the ConnectForHealth site. 

          $82333

          KP CO Bronze 5000/30%/HSA

          Rating in progress

          Select to compare

          KP CO Bronze 5000/30%/HSA

          Preferred Drug List

          HMO/Bronze

          $5,00000

          5,000.00 USD

          / Person

          $10,00000

          10,000.00 USD

          / Family

          Annual Max. Costs

          $6,35000

          6,350.00 USD

          / Person

          $12,70000

          12,700.00 USD

          / Family

          Est. Costs based on Use

          N/A

          This plan includes vision benefits. This plan includes dental benefits. This plan includes drug benefits.

          $85765

          KP CO Bronze 4500/50/HSA

          Rating in progress

          Select to compare

          KP CO Bronze 4500/50/HSA

          Preferred Drug List

          HMO/Bronze

          $4,50000

          4,500.00 USD

          / Person

          $9,00000

          9,000.00 USD

          / Family

          Annual Max. Costs

          $6,35000

          6,350.00 USD

          / Person

          $12,70000

          12,700.00 USD

          / Family

          Est. Costs based on Use

          N/A

          This plan includes vision benefits. This plan includes dental benefits. This plan includes drug benefits.

          $89943

          HealthOp Bear EPO

          Rating in progress

          Select to compare

          HealthOp Bear EPO

          Preferred Drug List

          EPO/Bronze

          $5,50000

          5,500.00 USD

          / Person

          $11,00000

          11,000.00 USD

          / Family

          Annual Max. Costs

          $6,35000

          6,350.00 USD

          / Person

          $12,70000

          12,700.00 USD

          / Family

          Est. Costs based on Use

          N/A

          • Cogito says:

            Well, that didn't come out as pretty as it looked before I hit submit.  For each plan, the number before the name of the provider is the amount of monthly premium without the decimal, so the first one is $823.33.  Then after the name of the provider is the amount of deductible per person without the decimal then with the decimal, so the first plan costs $823 with a $5000 deductible per person $10,000 per family and an annual maximum of $6350 per person, $12,700 per family.

            • Progressicat says:

              Yeah, tables are a problem here.  Great in preview– posted, not so much.  So, the $5,000 plan is a 5/10 plan.  Once the family shells out $10k in a year, insurance takes over.  It looks like you reach the out of pocket max pretty quickly, though.  So, you'd have to basically pay the negotiated cost of care up to $10,000 out of pocket and then insurance would cover 70/30 until you paid another $2,700, then you'd pay zero.  Interesting structure.

            • C A Martin says:

              Thanks for the support! I was going by memory so I tried to go a little below what I recalled. Your right about the $10,000 deductable per family, that was mine. Both me and my wife were smokers when I applied (I've since quit after 35 yrs. cold turkey 4 mnths. ago) and it was around $1,000 a month, a little less I think. The deductable was also a real sticking point. We have paid out less than that; $1,500 a year per year cash for the past five years for all four of us combined.(we have been blessed with good health dispite the smoking) Had we been paying out for insurance we would have spent about $47,000 by now. I dont know who said it then, maybe many, but I think the intent was to force a single payer scheme. Even if I could afford it, and we could maybe pinch pennies to do it, but is it really worth it with the cost of everything else going up and up?

          • Curmudgeon says:

            I'd be more interested in seeing what's covered and what's not, like preventative care, screeings, testings, etc. It's not like it's a "You pay for EVERYTHING up to $5,000", is it? 

  8. Cogito says:

    The clearest explanation of the plan benefits is found at http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/ehealthinsurance/benefits/ifp/CO/bronze-5000-30-hsa-dental.pdf

    There is no charge for "preventative care", whatever the plan thinks that is.  

    Here is the full description of the cheapest plan available to my family.  http://browseplans.connectforhealthco.com/getPlanDetail?replace=yes&plan_id=21032CO0410007&plan_type=HMO&rate=823.33

    As a professional experienced with legalese this is still confusing.  For example, for some procedures the chart lists the in-network copay as "No Charge".  That sounds like the insured does not pay for the procedure.  But then there is 30% co-insurance after the deductible is met, so that would mean there is a charge and you will pay all of it until the deductible is spent.  And the inconsistent terminology between In-Network Copay and Out-of-Network Copay is laughable.  In Bureaucrat-Land there is apparently a difference between a $0 copay and a "No Charge" Co-Pay.

  9. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Maddowblog debunks "Cory the ACA victim". He is moaning about how his insurance plan was cancelled – yet he voluntarily chose not to take advantage of the free Congressional insurance plan. As Steve Benen puts it, that is

    an extremely expensive decision that’s comparable to turning down a bus pass from your employer and leasing a BMW instead.

    When Gardner did purchase private insurance, he said that his premiums doubled – yet he has never been able to back that claim with evidence, although KDVR asked him for it five times.

    Not too credible. Does even his base really believe this stuff?

     

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