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Gov. John Hickenlooper, DNC Chair Tom Perez plan Tuesday rally to support ‘quality, affordable’ health care

Author: Ernest Luning - August 8, 2017 - Updated: August 8, 2017

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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper plan to appear at a rally urging members of Congress to hear from constituents before voting on health care legislation at the state Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (Photos by AP and Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper plan to appear at a rally urging members of Congress to hear from constituents before voting on health care legislation at the state Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (Photos by AP and Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Republican plans to overturn Obamacare might be on the ropes, but Democrats aren’t letting up. Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez plans to join Gov. John Hickenlooper and House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, along with activists, on the steps of the Colorado Capitol for a rally Tuesday morning against attempts to “strip and sabotage health care from millions of Americans,” organizers said.

The event, scheduled for 10 a.m., is the latest stop on the “Drive For Our Lives” bus tour set to run through the August congressional recess.

At the rally, Hickenlooper and Perez plan to urge members of Congress to hold town halls and hear from constituents before again considering legislation to change the Affordable Care Act, organizers said in a release.

Hickenlooper has been waging a high-profile battle against GOP efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, often in tandem with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican. On Sunday, the two appeared on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” where Hickenlooper called for Republican lawmakers to consult both sides of the aisle and the nation’s governors to resolve health care problems.

“We all agree, Democrats agree, there are improvements that need to be made to the Affordable Care Act,” he said on the broadcast. “We have to control costs, but we don’t want to roll back coverage for lots of people, and we realize the imperative to stabilize the private markets.”

The bus is making stops in districts and states represented by lawmakers who voted to repeal all or portions of the Affordable Care Act earlier this year — in Colorado, a list that includes U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton, Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, all Republicans. (U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, the other Republican member of the state’s congressional delegation, voted against legislation that narrowly passed the House with GOP support in early May.)

Gardner, a member of Senate GOP leadership and one of 13 Republicans tasked with drafting health care legislation earlier this year, voted at the end of July in favor of several versions of legislation to repeal Obamacare, but each attempt came up short.

It’s unclear when lawmakers will take up the effort again, although some leading Republicans have indicated they’re willing to bring Democrats to the table going forward.

Others schedule to speak at the Tuesday rally in Denver include Dr. Susan Healy, a Colorado physician, and Denver activists Christine Garam and Tim Howard.

The bus tour stopped in Albuquerque on Sunday and heads into the Midwest later this week, with events planned in Kansas City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


One comment

  • John Wren

    August 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    The answer to health care is to have a national network of clinics like we have in Denver for anyone who wants to use public healthcare, private insurance for everyone else.

    No one dies of a rupture appendix in Denver, they shouldn’t any where. Basic health care for the poor should be a national priority.

    But not everyone wants public health care, just like not everyone wants public housing. Let market forces compete against the low cost/ no cost private clinics and other private providers.

    Reply

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