Hickenlooper joins Republicans, Democrats to propose health care alternative

Governor John Hickenlooper speaks at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State luncheon, May 11, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Governor John Hickenlooper speaks at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State luncheon, May 11, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) chamber of commerce; downtown; colorado; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; governor john hickenlooper;
Governor John Hickenlooper speaks at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State luncheon, May 11, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Gov. John Hickenlooper joined the governors of Ohio, Montana, Nevada, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania on Friday to criticize the American Health Care Act proposed by Republicans.

Instead, the group of four Democrats and three Republican governors called for other reforms to the private insurance system.

“While we certainly agree that reforms need to be made to our nation’s health care system, as Governors from both sides of the political aisle, we feel that true and lasting reforms are best approached by finding common ground in a bipartisan fashion,” they noted in a letter released on Friday.

Government analyses have projected that between 13 million and 23 million Americans would lose insurance coverage under the bill passed by the U.S. House. Reductions to subsidies also would sharply increase costs for older people and those in rural areas, such as Colorado’s Western Slope.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the U.S. Senate have kept their version of the bill secret from Democrats, stirring intense criticism. 

The version of AHCA previously passed by the House, the governors wrote, “calls into question coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out, while shifting significant costs to the states. Medicaid provisions included in this bill are particularly problematic.”

There was no mention of the idea of a universal or single-payer system, which was last seriously discussed during the creation of Obamacare.

Reforms should increase access to affordable insurance, encourage states to experiment and “limit duplicative or burdensome regulations,” they wrote.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.