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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 4, 201714min62

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, 20174min530

“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, 20174min680

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 The underpayment of providers by Medicaid and Medicare preceded the ACA and will persist if it is repealed.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, 20175min741

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, 201711min69

… 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, 20164min930

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, 201610min74

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.


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Alan FramAlan FramNovember 21, 20169min740

Here's the idea: Swiftly pass a repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law, perhaps soon enough for Donald Trump to sign it the day he takes the presidential oath. Then approve legislation restructuring the nation's huge and convoluted health care system — despite Republican divisions, Democratic opposition and millions of jittery constituents. What could go wrong? With Republicans controlling the White House and Congress in January, they're faced with delivering on their long-time promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare." Here are hurdles they'll face:


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Jared WrightJared WrightOctober 10, 20166min771

Can the business community count on Congress to fix our ridiculously complex and expensive health insurance system if we give it more time? Is there a viable alternative coming from the American Medical Association or the Chamber of Commerce? No. Major social change always starts at the grassroots level. That is why the states must take the lead on health care reform. Medicare, the system that covers all seniors age 65 and older, is simple, affordable, and comprehensive. Colorado can use the same approach for everyone under age 65 if we approve ColoradoCare, Amendment 69, this November.