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Jessica MachettaNovember 28, 20174min518

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is hosting a Facebook live town hall on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. (7:30 ET) p.m. The question-and-answer session will focus on the Senate Republican tax bill. Bennet is asking constituents to submit questions ahead of time on Facebook, or, submit questions by emailing Townhall@bennet.senate.gov.

Those who want to listen to the Facebook Town Hall over the phone can dial in with this number: 202-228-0808; Conference ID #558933

Some of the questions already posted include:

  • “Cory Gardner was asked about this bill no less than five times, and continued to repeat that it is a ‘job growth’ bill. Can you explain how this bill is meant to grow jobs? Gardner also claimed that he ‘doesn’t believe’ that tax increases provide economic growth. So that one would be fun to explain as well.”
  • “We keep hearing promises about corporations putting their windfall from this tax plan into new jobs and wage increases. Why can’t we simply mandate this as part of the bill? Half of any benefits as a result of the bill must be used by corporations for wage increases for the bottom 50% of their workers or new jobs. I’d be willing to try something like that.”
  • “Explain the rationalization of 1. deductions for jet plane ownership and 2. repealing the estate tax. These are handouts for the wealthy. Seems hard to justify given that this bill is going to add to deficit/debt.”
  • “It’s a foregone conclusion, but I just wanted to urge a big NO vote for yourself and Senator Cory Gardner. One of you will listen, the other is headed for the dustbin of history.”
  • “I would be BLOWN AWAY if you got together with your Republican counterpart, Cory Gardner to co-host an objective session. Otherwise, this sounds like a partisan echo chamber.”
  • “I think your Medicare X is a great first start, where do you stand on the ultimate goal, Medicare for all?”
  • “What can we, as constituents, do to help you defeat the Tax Bill? And what can we, as constituents do to maintain our Internet Neutrality?”
  • “Why is the GOP pushing a “Tax” Bill that cuts medicaid, and medicare, that most Americans are against? (I’ve read 75%) And why are their donors paying multiple millions to get it passed ? (Hint money talks) By the way I lived through the Reagan years so trickle down BS is not an acceptable answer.”
  • “We asked for healthcare reform and you screwed us on that so what makes you think you will listen to us tear you apart on your tax bill for your own benefit and not the working man?”
  • “The personal exemption will be eliminated. The child tax credit will be possibly increased. At What age will the child tax credit end? What will be the tax change impact for a family making $35,000 with 4 teen children, all students: 13, 17, 19 and 20 years old?”
  • “Hasn’t read anyone’s bills ever so good luck with getting info, just download the blurry Democratic manifesto and that’s what will come out Bennett’s mouth.”
  • “What do we do about the desperate job situation and horrible Medicare expansion program in Colorado. I really don’t want to die here.”

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 16, 20174min307

On behalf of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, I want to share that the Colorado Nonprofit Association board of directors has officially stated its opposition to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (H.R. 1) now pending in Congress. Our board’s official statement can be found here: https://www.coloradononprofits.org/news/colorado-nonprofit-association-opposes-house-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act/nov-13-2017


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Tom RamstackTom RamstackOctober 12, 20176min464
WASHINGTON — Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette argued in favor of a discount drug pricing plan Wednesday while the president tries to overturn much of the previous administration’s health care program. President Trump said he would sign executive orders as soon as this week to eliminate some Affordable Care Act insurance rules. The 340B drug […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningSeptember 19, 20175min392

More Coloradans than ever have health insurance, according to a massive biennial survey released Tuesday, although the state continues to see lower rates of coverage outside the Denver metro area. The Colorado Health Access Survey found the number of state residents without health insurance dipped slightly to 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent in 2015 — the first year the survey reflected full implementation of the Affordable Care Act — and that consistency could be the big news in this year’s survey, its sponsors say.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 12, 20173min273

Colorado Politics has been telling you for some time about the good things the state has been doing to curb its soaring opioid drug abuse problem, but news out of Pueblo sounds like a setback. The Pueblo Chieftain has been all over the story about the closing, “at least temporarily,” of a state program that treats people with mental illness and drug addiction.

The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo must shutter its Circle Program after a dire warning of “immediate jeopardy” from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, brought on by staffing shortages. Ten patients now in the 90-day residential program are being transferred to other sources for the help they need.

The Chieftain reports that Rep. Daneya Esgar and Sens. Larry Crowder and Leroy Garcia are out to get to the bottom of the problems. The state psychiatric hospital is an important part of Pueblo since 1879, employing more than 1,200 people for the 449-bed hospital on a 300-acre campus.

The Colorado Department of Human Services told reporters Friday it has a plan centered on patient care that will raise staffing levels, but if it doesn’t get those steps in place by June 28, the federal agency will terminate the program’s Medicare agreement.

DHS conceded that the state mental hospital has been struggling with a serious staffing shortage for some time. The efforts to address that quickly include mandatory overtime, changes to work schedules, speeding up hiring and freezing new annual leave requests, according to the agency.

The hospital has fallen short on providing require one-on-one time with patients and sometimes didn’t have enough staff to run all their group sessions, either, DHS said.

“High quality patient care is our top priority. We take staffing levels at our mental health institutes very, very seriously,” Dr. Kim Nordstrom, medical director of DHS’s Office of Behavioral Health, which oversees the hospital, said in a statement. “There are many variables at work in the staffing shortage. The plan we have put in place will address the challenges identified by CMS. We are very grateful to our dedicated staff and we have all hands on deck.”


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 25, 201716min331

Kevin Grantham sat deep in his chair, his left foot, shod in a large cowboy boot, resting on his right knee, the Capitol press corps arrayed in front of him brought by text messages sent out near 10:00 p.m. the night before. It was Thursday morning, just two-and-a-half weeks ahead of the end of the legislative session, and the state Senate president was explaining that three members of his Republican caucus planned in committee the following week to kill the legislative centerpiece transportation bill he had sponsored with Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran, that there was little he could do about it, and that another Republican legislative centerpiece — a bill that would balance the session’s lopsided budget — was on life support.