Monday, August 7, 2017

Cory Gardner’s Problems with Health Care

Senator Cory Gardner, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, voted for all three failed health care bills. None of them were very popular as replacements for Obamacare. Hence, he suffers both from the failure to deliver on the promise to repeal Obamacare and the anger of people who disliked its replacements.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-CO, joined by (L to R) Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY,
Sen. John Thune, R-SD, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of KY,
 at a news conference on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2017 |J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Gardner also had a myriad of pro-Obamacare (or pro-medical subsidies in general) voters that wanted attention at his office and at meetings around the state during the last months of deliberations. He got in trouble with the Denver Post, which endorsed him in 2014, for avoiding some constituents and for not taking a position on the bills.

As a senator in a swing state, he was never going to find a popular position on repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Polling shows more than 80 percent of Republican voters want it repealed, but as Obamacare became more subject to repeal, it became more popular with the general population.

Gardner is not up until 2020 (the Trump re-election year), but his reputation for thoughtful, somewhat independent and candid positions has been damaged. Like his colleagues, he’s now trying to determine what’s next. It is not apparent how the major divisions in the party come together in a strategy.

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