CPR Joins Five Other Fact Checkers to Debunk Gardner’s “Horse Excrement” Stunt Health Care Bill, Other Empty Talking Points
CPR fact check series rips apart Gardner’s health care lies, election-year greenwashing, & bogus bipartisanship measure
Denver, CO – CPR became the sixth independent fact–checker to debunk Senator Cory Gardner’s “horse excrement” one sentence health care bill for being a disingenuous political document to try to cover up his decade of crusading against the Affordable Care Act and trying to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In a series of fact-checking articles, the pillars of Gardner’s flailing campaign crumbled under scrutiny, calling out his toxic environmental record and partisan voting record of standing in lockstep with President Trump and Mitch McConnell in addition to his health care lies.
See highlights from another round of scathing coverage calling out Gardner’s election-year stunts:
- Republican incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, who for much of his first term voted with his party in a years-long attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act…
- His critics say both the bill and his words are an empty gesture from someone who has long tried to repeal the law that created those protections.
- “You know what’s the cruelest lie of all? It’s the fact that Cory Gardner’s willing to sit here and say that he has a plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions,” Hickenlooper said during that debate.
- …Gardner’s office wouldn’t say whether he wants Republicans to back away from the overall legal effort to invalidate the ACA.
- “It’s too little, too late. He’s had all this time over the decade since the Affordable Care Act was passed to stand up for it, and people like me. And now in the 11th hour, with his election in danger he wants to protect pre-existing conditions,” said Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and progressive health advocate.
- But three health policy experts interviewed by Colorado Public Radio said that the bill was short and vague, leaving questions about what it was meant to accomplish.
- “It’s hard to say what (Gardner’s) intentions were with the bill, but it has a glaring loophole that would effectively mean that people with preexisting conditions could be denied health insurance, based on their health status,” Corlette said.
- It prevents insurers from charging people with preexisting conditions more but doesn’t guarantee that insurers have to sell them a policy in the first place.
- “You could see an insurance company saying, ‘We are simply going to walk away from providing insurance to these persons, period. We just have chosen not to insure them’,” said James Hodge, Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University.
- “Health care is incredibly complex and to see such a tiny bill, that’s only a few sentences long, is shocking. I mean, it makes you wonder how serious a bill is.”
- “Being a conservation champion takes more than supporting one bill or pushing one bill through. . .said Mike Saccone, advisor to the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund.
- Many conservationists, however, say Gardner’s record is missing one big thing: he has not sponsored nor advocated for a Colorado wilderness bill — a first for a senator from the Centennial state.
- The bill Colorado conservationists have in mind, though, is the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, introduced by Bennet and Neguse, which started as separate local efforts across the Western Slope and gained strong local support in the affected communities over the years.
- He had been quiet about William Perry Pendley, who among other things called for the sale of public lands, leading the Bureau of Land Management for more than a year. . .This spring the BLM released a lands management plan for western Colorado which critics say could open 95 percent of the North Fork Valley to drilling.
- Gardner also supported Coloradan David Bernhardt’s confirmation to be Secretary of the Interior and Andrew Wheeler to be the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Bernhard was a former lobbyist for the oil industry, while Wheeler was a coal lobbyist.
- Conservationists also point out that Gardner has done nothing to stop the Trump administration from rolling back clean air and water rules. And that he supported a procedural vote to start a debate on rolling back Obama-era rules on methane emissions. These and other votes have helped earn Gardner a League of Conservation Voters’ score of 36 percent in 2019 and a lifetime score of 11 percent.
- The Luger Center derives the ranking based on the number of bills a lawmaker sponsors or co-sponsors with someone on the other side of the aisle.
- That bipartisanship isn’t necessarily reflected in Gardner’s voting record.
- According to FiveThirtyEight, over the course of the Trump administration, Gardner has voted in line with the president 89.1 percent of the time. Based on how Trump did in Colorado in 2016, the site predicted Gardner’s voting score should be 41.5 percent.
- Masket also notes “the number of bills passed depends a great deal on whether one is part of the majority party or not.”