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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 25, 201716min515

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.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 4, 201714min309

Now that the Colorado state budget proposal has appeared and lawmakers are wrangling over the numbers, the political narratives that will be used to sell the budget to voters and to defend against constituent anger in elections to come are taking shape. This year it seems unquestionable that it will be a tougher budget for Republicans to spin than for Democrats. For starters, there will be more spending. The budget is $26.8 billion.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 23, 20174min361

“Five-hundred and twenty-eight million dollars?” said Sen. Larry Crowder, a Republican from Alamosa. “Yeah, well, I imagine that’s where we’re heading.” Crowder was digesting the <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/2017/03/23/colorado-state-budget-bill-finalized/" target="_blank">news</a> that state legislative budget writers are planning to unveil their draft version next week and that it will very likely include a $528 million cut to state hospital operating budgets. When he first hears the figure, Crowder doesn’t move. He looks at the top of the committee table where he’s sitting and it’s a full second or two before he looks up. He mentions that he knew there would be cuts.


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Sen. Irene AguilarSen. Irene AguilarFebruary 19, 20174min381

In response to Sen. Owen Hill’s Feb. 7 opinion column in The Colorado Statesman, I certainly agree with Sen. Hill that we need to protect Colorado Hospitals — particularly those in rural and underserved areas. However, he is mistaken in thinking that repealing Obamacare (“RomenyCare,” Affordable Care Act, ACA) and replacing it with the “Free Market” would provide this protection. In fact, it would have the opposite effect, especially in rural Colorado. The premise that Obamacare destroyed the free market is false. The underpayment of providers by Medicaid and Medicare preceded the ACA and will persist if it is repealed. What has changed is that due to the Obamacare, Colorado has cut the number of uninsured in half.


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Sen. Owen HillSen. Owen HillFebruary 7, 20175min407

Thankfully, our Republican-led Congress and President Trump are beginning the process of dismantling ‘Obamacare’ i.e. the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA). It won’t be easy, but Republicans have promised the American people a better way on health care, and our state and national leaders must deliver. Voters have elected a Republican majority in D.C., expecting them to repeal Obamacare. If they do this correctly, they can unleash the same power of innovation that has made cell-phones inexpensive and ubiquitous, that has given every American the opportunity to travel worldwide faster and cheaper than imaginable, and that has made cars safer, faster and more reliable than ever before.


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Rachael WrightRachael WrightJanuary 12, 201711min301

… Twenty Years Ago This Week in the Colorado Statesman … Diana DeGette is sworn in as a new member of Congress. The newly elected DeGette hosted more than 300 of her supporters, family and closest friends at her ceremonial swearing-in as the 19th representative for the 1st Congressional District. DeGette replaced retiring Democratic Rep. Pat Schroeder, who had served in the seat for 24 years. DeGette defeated her Republican opponent, Joe Rogers,with 56.9 percent to 40.2 percent the previous November. After taking the (ceremonial) oath of office administered by 10th Circuit Court Judge Carlos Lucero, at the Denver Public Library, DeGette spoke briefly on themes she had emphasized during her campaign.


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Jared WrightJared WrightDecember 13, 20164min1848

President Obama has just signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. This landmark legislation makes significant investments in biomedical research. It will lead to new treatments for some of the most vexing medical challenges, including diseases that touch many Americans, such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. But without health insurance coverage, millions of people might not be able to access the new treatments that we worked so hard on a bipartisan basis to enable under Cures. No amount of ground-breaking discoveries will save people who can’t afford to pay for treatment.


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Tom RamstackTom RamstackDecember 12, 201610min350

A bill to greatly expand medical research and speed up drug approvals sailed through both the U.S. Senate and the House last week with strong support from Colorado’s delegation. The bill was co-authored by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-CO1, with contributions from U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. It passed in the House of Representatives by a 392-to-26 margin and in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5.