Colorado’s Cory Gardner joined me this AM to discuss the Alexander-Murray “health-care compromise” and the Senate election cycle of 2018:
HH: Pleased to welcome back United States Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Good morning, Senator Gardner, always a pleasure to have you.
CG: Good morning, great to be with you.
HH: Before we turn to politics, let me ask you about the policy of the agreement reached between Senator Alexander and Senator Murray yesterday. Have you been briefed on it? What did the Republicans get out of that so-called deal?
CG: We had a very 30,000 foot view of the agreement. Look, I don’t think the American people are excited about the fact that we’re going to hand billions of dollars over to the insurance companies who are going to decrease the rate of increase by a couple of percentage points. What we’ve got to do is repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and actually drive down the cost of health insurance. So maybe this is a starting point. I need to get more details. I need to get information. But bailing out insurance companies is not a free market solution.
HH: But what, if anything, did the Republicans get out of it from that 30,000 overview you got, Senator Gardner?
CG: You know, it sounds like there may be some changes to the way the states are allowed to move forward on innovations, flexibilities. There was some conversations on whether or not HHS, Seema Verma and others would be able to give states the ability to do certain things that they want to do in order to drive down costs. And that’s good. Don’t get me wrong. That’s very good. But if this is just going to put Obamacare on life support, I don’t know that that’s exactly what this country needs right now. And what I think this country needs is a plan that allows the American people to buy the kind of policy that they want to buy that protects them in terms of their ability of choice in the marketplace, drives a competitive marketplace, and actually starts lowering costs.