U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman announced yesterday that he plans to hold “series of meetings,” beginning Feb. 20-24 and continuing in March. about the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
Absent from his plans is a town hall meeting in a “very large venue” that can “handle 300 people.” He promised to hold such a town-hall-style event after his early exit from a jammed constituent meeting last month,
In place of a public town-hall discussion is a “listening tour,” which involves 1) an undefined number of “meetings” with select “healthcare providers and patients advocacy groups” and 2) “several telephone town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding their concerns about the Affordable Care Act.”
Coffman did not offer an explanation for backing out of his plans for a big old town hall meeting, but the replacement he’s chosen offers the Aurora Republican the opportunity to screen his audiences and weed out potentially angry questions.
In other words, Coffman can’t slip out the back door of a telephone call. But he can to the equivalent by screening callers. Ditto with meetings with healthcare providers; he’s picking both the groups and the venues.
So in terms of accountability, Coffman’s proposal doesn’t fulfill his promise to do right to all those people he left in the library Jan. 14, when he slipped out the back door early. And reporters should have asked him about it.
Coffman Announces ACA ‘Listening Tour’
Feb 13, 2017 Press Release
Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) announced that during the district work period scheduled for Feb. 20-24, he will undertake the first phase of his planned “listening tour” regarding the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Coffman will use this series of meetings to gain the perspective of as many constituents, patients and healthcare professionals as possible.
“During this district work week, I look forward to meeting with many healthcare providers and patients advocacy groups. My objective is to personally hear from them on how the ACA has affected the healthcare system, medical professionals, and most importantly, how it has affected patients access to medical care. I will use their input not only to review my own plans on how to proceed, but also to communicate their concerns to my congressional colleagues—Additionally, I want to communicate again that no repeal will take place without first having a replacement.”
The ACA, which was signed into law in March 2010, dramatically impacted the health care of millions here in Colorado and across the country. Due to the ACA, thousands of Coloradans who were perfectly satisfied with their health insurance had their policies changed or in some cases even cancelled. In 2017 alone, health insurance rates rose more than 20% in some areas, and 14 counties in the State now have just one health insurance provider servicing their area. The ACA, did allow for some consumer protections to be codified into law, some of which Coffman strongly supports, such as preserving the pre-existing condition protection and ensuring those under Medicaid expansion access to health insurance coverage.
Coffman will commence the second phase of this listening effort in March when he plans to hold several telephone town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding their concerns about the Affordable Care Act.
More information on the tele-town halls will be made available in early March in the Congressman’s website: www.coffman.house.gov.