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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

With his political allies perpetually unable to find an actual victim of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is taking matters into his own hands.

This week, Gardner — the Republican nominee challenging incumbent Democrat Mark Udall in Colorado’s Senate race — released a new ad presenting himself as an Obamacare victim.

“When Mark Udall voted for Obamacare, he promised us if we liked our health care plan, we could keep it. Well, you know how that worked out,” Gardner says in the ad.

“I got a letter saying my family’s plan was canceled; 335,000 Coloradans had their plans canceled too. Thousands of families saw their health care premiums rise,” he continues. “More cancelations are on the way. You might have one of those letters in your mailbox right now.”

Like most of his Republican colleagues, Gardner overstates the supposed cancelation crisis. Although many Coloradans did receive cancelation notices, 92 percent of them were offered renewal options. Meanwhile, Colorado’s uninsured rate dropped by 6 percent over the past year, the fifth-largest reduction of any state in the nation. And premiums in Colorado are projected to rise just 3.6 percent, less than half of the average annual increase between 1991 and 2009.

And like most of the other “victims” to appear in an anti-Obamacare ad, Gardner’s story doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. As David Nir explains at Daily Kos:

Finally, you might be wondering how it was that Gardner was even in a position to have his own insurance plan canceled in the first place. Yes, members of Congress are now required to purchase insurance on the exchanges, but this cancelation happened last year, before the law went into effect. It turns out that Gardner voluntarily chose to decline congressional coverage and bought his own insurance in its place—an extremely expensive decision that’s comparable to turning down a bus pass from your employer and leasing a BMW instead.

As one health care expert put it, most people “don’t have the resources” to do something like that (nor would they want to), so even if Gardner’s story is accurate, it’s “not the norm.” You might almost imagine that Gardner did all this to make an asinine political point, one he’s now trying to capitalize on. But what politician would ever do a thing like that?

So just like Richelle McKim, Julie Boonstra, Bette Grenier, and Americans for Prosperity’s professional actors, Cory Gardner is going to be just fine. But that won’t stop Republicans’ never-ending quest to find someone who isn’t.

Screenshot: Cory Gardner for Senate/YouTube

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  • Stay tuned for This Week In Crazy to find out who inevitably used Cory Gardner’s story to insist that Obamacare is designed to unfairly target Republicans.

    • TZToronto

      Hmmmm . . . Good idea! Heck, a lot of them have never had health insurance . . .There’s always the ER!

  • Lynda Groom

    When you have nothing of value to add to the conversation apparently pushing a lie is all thats left.

  • Shamuz Alonzo

    I wonder how many people will have their identities stolen when the Obamacare website is hacked?

    • iowasteve

      I wonder how many stupid people give up their identities every day to strangers just because they are asked? I can tell you a nice round number. Millions. The ACA website doesn’t need to have your identity – the insurance company does. Do you have any clue how the website works? Do you know where the data is stored? It surely isn’t stored in a website – it is in a database. That database should be encrypted and offline at anytime it isn’t being accessed by the website. And the only time it is accessed by the website should be when it was entered in the first place. And finally, I think it is funny – the ones complaining about the ACA and the hacking of websites and so on are those who haven’t used either and have no idea what they are talking about. This is why the GOP needs to make up lies about things – because they don’t know the truth because they don’t want to know the truth. And how long has the public been screaming that the congress doesn’t have to have coverage by the ACA? Hmm turns out they are mostly covered by it – except for those who decided to go outside the box and become the victim of a crooked insurance company. It’s funny though that the insurance company cancels the policies because they refuse to offer a policy that meets the bare minimum of what should be covered by their policy and so they are cancelling the policy because it is illegal under new laws. How they hell is any of this Obama’s fault. Or the fault of the ACA? Other than the new regulations were put into place to protect the policyholders and NOT the insurance companies? Does anyone even know that ACA also has limits on how much the CEO and high management can make in those insurance companies as well? Not actual salaries, but in a round about way yes, due to the reimbursement rules in place now. What are those rules? The insurance company has to put out a certain percentage of the premiums collected to actual services and claims or it must refund the difference back to the policy holders. I believe it was something like 75 or 80% maybe. That cuts into their profits a little bit I would think. However, removing the cops and the pre-existing condition clauses does help them to be paying out more than they used to on claims – so in a way that would balance out at some point. And now, we see, I was right all along – congress (some of them) do use the ACA. A few may opt out and keep their own insurance, but if you do – you will need to pick the right company or risk getting cancelled when enforcement happens.