Response from Senator Gardner

Date: 2017-06-21 03:32 am (UTC)
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
From: [personal profile] flwyd
Dear Mr. Stone,

Thank you for contacting me regarding healthcare reform. I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.

On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives voted to pass the amended American Health Care Act (AHCA), their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This legislation intends to reform healthcare by eliminating taxes and mandates, expanding Health Savings Accounts, and implementing a monthly tax credit. After the House vote, this legislation was sent to the Senate for consideration. I am working with my colleagues in the Senate to craft a new healthcare bill that will lead to more choices, lower costs, and improved care for all Coloradans.

It is vital that any replacement plan offers states the flexibility they need, while also ensuring stability for Colorado’s sickest and most vulnerable patients. In Colorado, and across the nation, families have faced significant premium increases. According to the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), the average premium in Colorado increased by 20.4% on the individual market in 2017 and there are double digit increases expected for plan year 18 if we continue our current trajectory.

The instability of the individual health insurance market has resulted in multiple insurers removing plans from the state health exchange for this plan year. As a direct impact, 43 of the 64 counties in Colorado have two, or fewer, insurance carriers to choose from. This decrease in competition has had a dramatic effect on Coloradans’ ability to purchase insurance and access care. Many Americans today choose not to visit the doctor or purchase necessary medication because they simply cannot afford to do so. This is unacceptable, particularly for individuals with preexisting conditions. Despite empty assurances that the Affordable Care Act would solve the rising cost of healthcare in this country, the price Coloradans are paying for necessary services has skyrocketed. As conversations around repealing the failed Affordable Care Act continue, I remain committed to replacing it with common sense reforms that control costs, expand access to care, and protect the doctor-patient relationship, while also ensuring a stable transition and flexibility for Medicaid populations.

Moving forward, I will continue to support policies that will the lower cost of healthcare while increasing the quality of care. Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you.

Cory Gardner
United States Senator
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