Politics

Colorado Representative Cory Gardner Asked Health And Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius To Exempt His District From The Affordable Care Act

| by Will Hagle

Colorado Republican and U.S. House Representative Cory Gardner requested that the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius exempt his entire district from the Affordable Care Act during a House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight hearing on the new health care legislation, Think Progress reports. 

Gardner’s proposal, while likely a tongue-in-cheek expression of his disapproval of the legislation, is a continuation of the arguments and criticisms of the ACA that continue to unfold both within the government and elsewhere. Ever since the legislation was passed it has been a point of contention, and after the new health care exchanges went live in early October, legislators have been fighting its inevitable implementation in any manner possible. 

What Gardner may have failed to realize is that 14 percent — or 102,000 people — in his district currently lack any health insurance plan, and 91,000 people in the district are currently living below the poverty line. State-wide, 19,000 people have already enrolled in one of the new health insurance plans offered through the ACA marketplace. 

“I would like to submit a waiver from my district from Obamacare and hope you consider waiving it for the fourth congressional district,” Gardner proposed to Sebelius during the hearing.

Sebelius’ response was brief yet direct — Colorado is operating its own ACA marketplace, and he would have to express his concerns back home if an exemption would indeed help the state’s citizens. 

Gardner also questioned Sebelius over a series of Obamacare depicting college students doing keg stands, to which Sebelius responded she has no jurisdiction over. 

The ACA has come under fire for the many issues it has experienced with Healthcare.gov, the online insurance marketplace, but Gardner insists to Fox 31 Denver that that is not the issue. 

“It’s not just the glitches with the websites. The glitch is with the law, which is forcing people to buy health insurance that’s more expensive,” Gardner said.