Three years ago this month, after the downward-pointing thumb of John McCain put an end to the last of three Republican attempts to kill Obamacare, the Arizona senator issued a statement with ideas on how America could move forward to improve its health care system.
Among McCain’s suggestions: “heed the recommendations of the nation’s governors.”
One of those was Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, who’d been working with Republican and Democratic governors from states that had implemented the Affordable Care Act, dramatically reducing the number of people without health insurance in their states and protecting those with pre-existing conditions.
Hickenlooper and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, were probably the most prominent governors urging senators not to pass legislation that would upend health insurance coverage in their states and set back their successful efforts to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. Doug Ducey, a Republican, from McCain’s state of Arizona, was another governor who was speaking out at the time, seeking compromise.
And among the senators whom Hickenlooper and Kasich were hoping would hear their message: Colorado’s Cory Gardner.
Gardner was undoubtedly aware that Obamacare, which was adopted in Colorado in 2013 under Hickenlooper, had lowered Colorado’s uninsurance rate from about 16% to 6.5%, mostly through the health care law’s expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people. It allowed 40,000 young people in Colorado to remain on their parents’ insurance plans, and it protected the health insurance of about 2 million Coloradans with pre-existing conditions.
But despite the success of the ACA in his home state, and the efforts of Hickenlooper to convince him otherwise, Gardner voted three times in a row in July, 2017, to kill Obamacare, standing against McCain in the much-publicized final vote on July 28 of that year. (Over his career, Gardner voted seven times to repeal the ACA.)
Let’s look back at that moment:
I didn’t always agree or support McCain but I’ll always remember and thank him for this vote. We need to make sure Hickenlooper is ready to go to defeat Gardner. He’s already been raising the cash he needs since winning his primary:
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Senate campaign reported raising $5.2 million over the past three months and said that was a record for a Colorado Senate candidate.
The campaign of his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, said it took in $3.6 million from April 1 to June 30. But he had more than twice the cash available as did Hickenlooper — almost $10.7 million versus $4.6 million.
The reporting period includes the Democratic primary on June 30 that Hickenlooper won after a series of stumbles, and he spent more than he raised in the latest reporting period.
Let’s usher in the second wave of the Blue Wave to Colorado. Click below to donate and get involved with Hickenlooper, Biden and their fellow Colorado Democrats campaigns: