Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

Post reporter stands out for asking predatory-lender about Colorado profits

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

A predatory-lending bill, allowing lenders to make more money on high-interest loans, passed a state senate committee yesterday, with supporters of the bill telling reporters that increased profits are necessary to keep personal-loan lenders in Colorado.

That’s the major argument for the bill. Specifically, backers told the Durango Herald that the one company offering such loans will leave Colorado if it’s not allowed to make millions more here.

The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch was the only reporter to ask Springleaf Holdings, Colorado’s only lender of personal loans (after a merger last year with its competitor), how the company was doing. I mean, that’s the key question.

Is it struggling to make ends meet, like many of the folks it lends money to are? People who pay the company 36 percent interest on a $1,000 loan as it is?

Bunch reported:

Phil Hitz, who represented Springleaf Holdings, acknowledged that the company is very profitable nationally and confirmed the 30 percent Colorado growth over the past four years.

Bunch apparently didn’t ask Hitz if Springleaf would leave Colorado if the bill didn’t pass, but all indications are that it would not.

Last year, when a similar predatory-lending bill was debated, the Colorado Attorney General’s office testified that access to such loans is not threatened under the current interest-rate structure.  Similar testimony was reportedly offered yesterday as well.

So the bill’s backers haven’t refuted the key point that lenders of personal loans are profitable and thriving. Instead, the market in Colorado is actually growing. There’s no indication that the lenders will walk away from Colorado and its money.

To be fair, Hitz told Bunch that Colorado is the company’s lowest yielding state, and other states help subsidize it.

But lowest yielding state compared to what, astronomically-earning ones? We know the company is “very profitable” nationally. So the fact that it’s doing well enough in Colorado is a signal that states should protect consumers, many of them low-income, and adopt Colorado’s humane regulatory framework.

That’s another conversation reporters might have with Hitz.

Breitbart should state that Woods likes Trump, making her involvement in pro-Cruz shenanigans unlikely

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Breitbart’s Julia Hahn reports that four Colorado lawmakers, who are members of Ted Cruz’s “Colorado Leadership Team, voted against a 2015 bill that would have created a presidential primary in Colorado.

Trump has said the absence of a primary or caucus vote helped Cruz trounce Trump in the race for Colorado delegates. And Hahn’s story implies that Cruz supporters in Colorado’s legislature might have been working to squash Trump as early as last year, when they voted against a bill establishing open primary that might have benefited Trump.

“Social media posts, along with Cruz’s campaign website, reveal that Sen. Ted Cruz supporters in the Colorado Republican Party were responsible for crushing an effort to give Colorado the ability to vote in a state primary…The four Republicans who voted against the initiative were Sen. Kevin Grantham, Sen. Kent Lambert, Sen. Laura Woods, and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg.”

The trouble with this conspiracy theory is that Woods is actually factually on record as saying Trump is one of her top two favorite presidential candidates. As such, Woods is the only elected official in the state to affirmatively say she likes Trump.

Woods “narrowed the field” after watching the GOP prez debate in Boulder, and she concluded that her “favorites are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump” (here at 25 min, 50 seconds).

Later, Woods “liked” a Facebook post by The Conservative Update, which stated:

‘Like’ if you would vote for Donald Trump if he were the 2016 GOP nominee.

So if Woods was secretly in the tank for Cruz last year, when she voted against the presidential-primary bill, she, at a minimum, had a change of heart after being wowed by Trump at the Boulder GOP debate. But, more likely, she voted against the prez-primary bill for other reasons.

In any case, Hahn should update her post with the fact that Woods praised Trump and said he was one of her favorite candidaates along with Cruz, before she jumped on the Cruz boat.

Predatory-lending bill shouldn’t fly under journalists’ late-session radar

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Sometimes reporters ignore bills in the state legislature that look like they would surely die quickly in the hands of divided government. But here’s a piece of right-wing legislation that surprisingly cleared Colorado’s divided legislature last year, before a being vetoed by Gov. John Hickenlooper: a “predatory-lending” bill.

Similar legislation, introduced just last week, should be scrutinized by journalists, despite the end-of-session onslaught on top of the usual onslaught.

This year’s predatory-lending bill (SB16-185), which could be heard this week, would allow for an increase in interest rates on subprime “personal loans,” which are sold to people whose credit problems preclude them from obtaining loans with more favorable interest rates.

Such loans are convenient–and can actually help struggling families improve their credit ratings. But they’re costly, with the potential to be devastating economically for low-income people.

Lenders are getting 36 percent on the first $1,000 in a personal loan, and 21 percent on such loans from $1,000 to $3,000. Yet the senate bill would set up a mechanism to jack up the rates even more. Last year’s failed bill aimed to set the interest rate at 36 percent for all personal loans up to $3,000.

Personal loans average $6,000 in Colorado. They shouldn’t be confused with pay-day loans, which typically carry an even higher interest rate and can be no more than $500, under state law. So these are completely different types of loans.

In vetoing the measure last year, Hickenlooper was “particularly struck” by the Colorado Attorney General’s assessment that higher interest rates on personal loans would not make them more readily available to consumers.

This validates statements by the bill’s opponents that lenders of personal loans are profitable and thriving–despite allegations by the bill’s opponents last year that higher interest rates are needed to keep lenders from abandoning the business. And the number of personal loans sold last year is the highest since 2009, so the market is actually growing under the current regulatory structure, opponents say.

A number of groups have lined up against the predatory lending bill, including AARP Colorado, Bell Policy Center, Center for Responsible Lending, CLLARO, Colorado Catholic Conference, Colorado Center for Law and Policy, Colorado Council of Churches, Colorado Fiscal Institute, Gary Community Investments, Company, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, One Colorado ProgressNow Colorado Small Business Majority.

Given what happened last year, and the public’s well-known demand to know what lawmakers are doing to help (or in this case hurt) working families, journalists should keep a close eye on this year’s predatory-lending legislation.

Flip-flop exposed. Thank you journalism.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

You hope that the weakening of journalism doesn’t translate into politicians thinking they can flip flop to their hearts content, without being asked to explain themselves in proverbial print. But you fear fewer reporters means more politicians getting off the hook.

So you’re gratified when reporters, in our diminished media environment, continue to hold politicians accountable, for example, when they vote the opposite way this year than they did last year.

The Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus noticed that J. Paul Bown (R-Ignacio) had voted last year for a program offering contraception to low-income women and teens, but this year he voted against it.

Last week, Marcus asked the question everyone wants journalists to ask, even if they don’t want to pay for it. Why?

Brown: “I still feel that it prevents abortions, but there’s a difference of opinion, and I just felt like I ought to stick with the caucus today with that amendment. There’s a lot of money needed in a lot of different places, it’s tough making those priorities. It’s a tough decision. We have to make some tough priority decisions up here.”

To his credit, Marcus reported that “supporters” of the program, which is credited with reducing teen abortions and pregnancies by over 35 percent, point out that “for every $1 invested in low-cost contraception, Colorado taxpayers save about $5.85 in Medicaid costs.”

Those are actually state government figures, from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The next time he interviews Brown, Marcus might as him –or others who’ve opposed Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative on budget grounds–if they believe the state figures.

Despite Brown’s opposition, Colorado’s House and Senate passed a budget bill last week with $2.5 million for the Family Planning Initiative, marking the first year Colorado has funded the program, assuming the budget bill is signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The initiative was funded the past six years with private dollars.

 

State senators’ amendment would (again) ban fetal-tissue research with state dollars

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Last week, Colorado Senate Republicans inserted an amendment in the budget bill prohibiting the use of state funds to purchase fetal tissue for research—even though state funds are already barred from being spent for this purpose.

But the sponsors of the amendment, state Senators Tim Neville of Littleton and Laura Woods of Westminster, wanted to “clarify” things in the wake of discredited videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

The tissue, as university researchers in Colorado have pointed out, is used to help find cures for terrible diseases. It’s obtained under strict federal guidelines that include a consent form from the donor of the tissue authorizing its use in research. A processing charge is allowed but money making on such sales is illegal.

“This is an important issue,” said Woods on the Senate floor (here at 445:30) “We were horrified by the videos that we saw. And the callousness that was associated with those videos. And it deserves our attention…”

“We are not just concerned about Planned Parenthood. We are concerned about the abortions behind this tissue that is being used for research.”

Officials at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Colorado State University rejected demands by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) last year that all fetal-tissue research be halted. They noted that funds for such research come from NIH or private sources, not state dollars.

Richard Traystman, the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Director of Research, said it was “not acceptable” to stop research using fetal tissue.

Traystman said at the time:  “[Fetal cells]  are very often used in research on diseases of the central nervous system, the brain, the spinal cord, a variety of diseases that involve brain abnormalities and diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, for example. They are also used in research on the heart and cardiac tissue and to create vaccines. I could go on.”

Traystman emphasized that researchers who use fetal tissue “must go through the Institutional Review Board process, get consent, and follow all the rules and regulations related to human consent forms.”

All this does not persuade Woods or Neville, whose fetal-tissue amendment is expected to be from the budget bill by a conference committee, sources say.

“We do have moral opportunities,” said Neville. “And I look at this as an opportunity to do the right thing.”

Correction: A previous version of this post stated that the fetal-tissue amendment had been deleted from the budget bill by a conference committee. It has not yet been deleted.

 

Woods and Neville fail to stop teen-pregnancy-prevention program

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

On a voice vote late yesterday, the Colorado Senate rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and Laura Woods (R-Westminster) that would have deleted funding for a state-run program credited with decreasing the teen pregnancies and abortions by over 35 percent.

It was a watershed moment for backers of the program, whose efforts to procure state funding were killed last year by Senate Republicans–as chronicled by national news outlets and lowly blogs alike.

But the watershed moment was nearly eclipsed by the water cooler discussion of why in the world Woods would go out of her way to oppose an astonishingly successful teen pregnancy prevention program, given the spectacular bipartisan allure of lowering teen pregnancies and abortions?

Woods doesn’t return my calls, so someone else will have to ask her, but the stakes are about as high as they can get, as control of state government likely depends on who wins Woods’ swing senate district in November.

Politics aside, Woods has been consistent in standing up for her anti-choice and Tea-Party positions, from the day she started running for the legislature until now–as opposed to other state Republicans who’ve essentially re-invented themselves (Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Mike Coffman) when faced with tough election campaigns in moderate districts.

Woods didn’t speak at last night’s senate hearing, leaving her co-sponsor Sen. Tim Neville to explain their hostility toward reducing abortions and pregnancies among teenagers.

Neville started out by saying he was concerned about the “widespread and temporary use of sterilization products on women and girls in Colorado.” Arguably, you can describe the program that way, if you must. Under Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative, which has been privately funded, low-income women and girls receive free or reduced-cost long acting reversible contraception (LARC), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs).

Neville, who’s the leading GOP contender to defeat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, went on to say (Listen here at 535:35).

Neville: These IUDs and other issues do nothing to prevent the spread of STDs [sexually transmitted diseases]. There is nothing to suggest that the psychological and medical risks and costs associated with the increased sexual activity will be managed or addressed by these funds or this legislation.

The use of IUDs has never been shown to encourage more sex, as you might suspect. So the psychological risk-benefit analysis should focus on the mental-health impact of being a teen parent or having an abortion versus avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.

Neville, who was bothered by lack of parental notification in administering the contraception under the program, argued that the LARC program isn’t necessary because “birth control is already provided, free, to anyone who needs it who qualifies” under the Affordable care act.

But it’s specifically the use of implants and long-acting contraception that makes the program successful, and some forms of LARC birth control, along with the training needed to provide them, are not covered currently by Obamacare.

Neville’s closing comment was also incorrect and probably the most frustrating to LARC backers. He alleged:

Neville:  “Colleagues, this is a program that, if it went through a vote through the Senate and went through its natural process, would not have made it.”

In fact, just last week the state house defeated an amendment, almost exactly like the one offered by Neville and Woods, with the support of all Democrats and three Republicans. And it’s nearly a certainty that one Republican or more would have joined Democrats in the state senate to pass a stand-alone LARC bill last year and this year. That’s probably one reason Republicans allowed funding in the budget in the first place–to take it off the table.

Neville did not make the anti-LARC argument, among the most popular last year, that IUDs cause abortions, but Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs raised it last week,  as quoted in the Colorado Springs Gazette.:

Klingenschmitt: “I would be fine with family planning. I would be fine with some kinds of birth control, but when the taxpayers are funding post-conception abortion pills, that crosses the line.”

Klingenschmitt’s and other GOP objections will be irrelevant once the budget bill clears the state senate today and is signed by Hick.

Then all eyes (or at least the eyes of the political world) will turn to Woods, Neville and other Republicans to see how this issue plays out on the campaign trail.

Dr. Chaps’ attack video leaves some Republicans laughing

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Last week, Rep. Justin Everett posted a video in which  Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt attacks his SD-12 primary opponent, Rep. Bob Gardner. Dr. Chaps produced the video last year.

Everett wrote on Facebook: THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF GORDON KLINGENSCHMITT, but this is too funny not to share. Although I like Bob personally after serving with him for 2 years, Klingenschmitt goes a little EASY on Bob’s voting record and conservatism in this video. Enjoy!

Everett did not amplify on how Dr. Chaps went a “little EASY” on Gardner.

A couple of Everett’s colleagues joined in with comments on the video, which features Gardner doing the “Bob and Weave Dance.”

Rep. Patrick Nevelle: Too funny. I think even most Democrats would admit Gordon has a great sense of humor.

Sen. Steve Humphrey: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means….” That is funny stuff.

The video is funny and wierd, both, as you might expect. It shows off Dr. Chaps’ strange media skills.

Klingenschmitt in the video: My opponent for the race for State Senate District 12, Bob Gardner, has just started performing this Bob and Weave Dance to perfection! Here’s a quick example. If you’re following this Colorado Springs election, you know we’re both Republicans. And I’m actually conservative and Bob Gardner is a liberal who pretends to be a conservative.

Klingenschmitt provides undercover video of Gardner saying he supports the principles of liberty, but Chaps points to the Principle of Liberty website, which lists Gardner as receiving an F in 2013 2014.

“Don’t believe ratings systems that are odd, distorted,” Gardner says in Chaps’ video.

 

Medicaid no longer for the “truly needy” and should be cut back, says State Sen. Laura Woods

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

If you follow my blog, you know I’ve been pointing out how Republicans are falsely blaming Colorado budget problems on healthcare costs for the elderly, disabled, and other poor people.

What’s worse, after scapegoating Medicaid spending on healthcare for the poor, Republicans haven’t said how they’d cut it. Or do something else to ease the budget pressure. And reporters are letting them slide.

But one state Republican recently said she’s ready to cut Medicaid. That’s State Sen. Laura Woods of Westminster.

During a radio interview in January, Woods said Medicaid used to be “for the truly needy,” but it’s not anymore. So she wants families to be poorer to qualify for Medicaid. Currently, a family of four qualifies if it earns less than around $34,000 per year–or 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Woods agreed with KNUS 710-AM radio hosts, who suggested reducing the earnings threshold for qualifying for Medicaid.

Host Chuck Bonniwell: Well, you can change the 137 percent back to 100 percent [of the federal poverty level], I suppose.

Co-Host Julie Hayden: Right. I mean, it can’t stay the way it is, right?

WOODS: Right.

Woods told Bonniwell that “this rolling back [the] 137 percent is exactly the kind of compromise and agreement that we would push to the government, and say, ‘You know what? You want compromise, let’s talk.'”

But Woods said a healthcare cut must be done with “a lot of forethought” because “you’re sort of taking away their birthday. You’re taking away Santa Claus.”

It’s a “very difficult thing to do,” said Woods. It’s unclear whether Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, was thinking it would be tough politically to cut Medicaid or humanity-wise. The Christmas line, popular among conservatives discussing government excess, usually signals their belief that the poor are exploiting safety-net programs.

The reference to Christmas and birthdays makes it sound as if Woods thinks when poor people save money on heathcare, they turn around and spend it on nonessentials. GOP Sen. Greg Brophy, who alleged that Medicaid recipients spend their money on air conditioning, cigarettes, and Lotto, made the same allegation, which is not supportable, as far as I can tell, not to mention gross. (Or does everything come back to the War on Christmas?)

In any case, Woods incorrectly stated on air that the imperative to chop Medicaid is clear, since it is “this driver of our state budget pushing our budget over a cliff, and it’s simply not sustainable.”

During her radio interview, Woods mistakenly said a family of four “making between $70,000 and $90,000 a year qualify for Medicaid.” As you can see here, she is wrong. She may have been thinking of the threshold for a family of four to receive health-insurance tax credits under Obamacare. (Plus, Medicaid expansion under Obamacare has been paid by the feds, and many of the people covered by Obamacare in Colorado are adults without children.)

So next time Republicans are bashing Medicaid, but they aren’t saying what part of Medicaid they want to cut, reporters can turn to Woods. Hopefully, she’ll have her facts that allegedly support her opinion straightened out by then.

Weekend Wakeup with Chuck & Julie, Laura Woods, January 16, 2016

WOODS: Medicaid started out where a family of four making $20,000 a year — there’s no way they could afford healthcare. And that’s what Medicaid was for. It was for the truly needy. But when we’ve raised the poverty level so that 137 percent of the federal poverty level, I think now families of four that make somewhere between $70,000 and $90,000 a year qualify for Medicaid.

HAYDEN: What?!

BONNIWELL: Wow!

WOODS: So you look around and you say, — exactly your question: “Why is anybody uninsured under Obamacare? And yet we’ve got this this driver of our state budget pushing our budget over a cliff, and it’s simply not sustainable.

HAYDEN: No. That’s what it seems to me. And it’s not – I mean, there’s really not much you guys can do about – I mean,

BONNIWELL: Well, you can change the 137% back to 100%, I suppose.

HAYDEN: Right. I mean, it can’t stay the way it is, right?

WOODS: Right.

HAYDEN: You know, because I think what we saw– and maybe I’m wrong, but this whole – Connect for Colorado, when that major insurer just went, like, bankrupt and dropped all of those people, from what I gather only a fraction of those people actually signed up the new health care because it’s such a disaster. It’s it’s so expensive. So, am I right, then? Then all of those people – they’re going to go back in to the Medicaid, right?

WOODS: Yes. And –

HAYDEN: S0, it’s going to get even worse.

WOODS: It is going to get even worse, and this rolling back 137% is exactly the kind of compromise and agreement that we would push to the government, and say, “You know what? You want compromise, let’s talk about –.” But you know, you’re sort of taking away their birthday. You’re taking away Santa Claus. I mean, I don’t know, this a very difficult thing to do, and it has to be done with a lot of forethought and –

HAYDEN: But, I would say, that you want to be careful because you’re right – you don’t want to hurt families. If a family is making $90,000 a year, there’s a good chance that they probably have some other way to get insurance rather than free from the rest of us.

WOODS: You know, I agree with that. And I think that even if it’s not $90,000. You know, $50,000 a year, you can afford something on –.

BONNIWELL: Well Obamacare gives you subsidies.

HAYDEN: Right! Exactly! I mean, you have the whole–.

WOODS: At that level, right. Obamacare would give you subsidies.

HAYDEN: And you can’t be – so, then the other thing is when the governor and all that group that’s going– that’s pushed by the Denver Post – going around trying to convince people to get rid of TABOR, which isn’t going very well, I don’t think.

BONNIWELL: I haven’t heard much from them. I want to ask Laura Woods about that. I mean, you know, we heard Dan Ritchie, who is, you know The Denver Post’s favorite Republican because he is not really a Republican and therefore you can – he can front whatever left wing agenda they’ve got going, around on a listening tour, and they picled that out from my guess, probably […]–what’s her name? The famous listening tour lady. But once you go, you know, you already know what you want, and you go on a listening tour and, “Hey! They want exactly what we wanted!” But what has happened to those guys?

WOODS: Well, I actually don’t know what has happened to those guys, but I do think it has morphed into ideas like let’s rob the hospital provider fee –

BONNIWELL: Yeah.

WOODS: –to further fund our programs because there aren’t general fund dollars to do that.

BONNIWELL: Right.

WOODS: I think, you know, TABOR is the one piece of legislation that Colorado can lean on and depend on and stand behind as a bulwark to prevent us from becoming what California has become.

BONNIWELL: Right.

WOODS: And the conservatives in our state get that. And you know, I battle this every at every town hall I go to, every meet-and-that greet I go to where I’ve got one of my counterparts from the other side of the aisle on the stage with me and we’re back and forth over, you know, I’m standing to defend Tabor – they’re just saying we have just got to get rid of Tabor. So, it comes up. We had Andy Kerr, the senator from Littleton –or Lakewood–try to sue the state over TABOR to say is unconstitutional. That lawsuit was thrown out. So, –.

HAYDEN: […] Chuck and I talk all the time about ways to generate more revenue, but in the meantime, we’re stuck with the budget that we have. And–.

WOODS: Well, that’s what businesses and families are faced with right now.

HAYDEN: Exactly! And the government should do the same thing.

Woods joins Trump and Coffman in opposing citizenship for undocumented immigrants born in the U.S.

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

In a Facebook post last week, State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Westminster) came out against birthright citizenship, the U.S. policy granting citizenship to people born on American soil, even if their parents are not citizens.

The debate about birthright citizen was largely confined to hard-right conservative circles, until Donald Trump came out against it in August, as part of his immigration platform, sparking high-profile debate among Republican presidential candidates and pundits.

Woods, who has said Trump is her second favorite presidential candidate, “liked” a Facebok post, sponsored by Numbers USA, which read:

LIKE if you agree with Trump. Illegal aliens should not be awarded birthright citizenship!

A graphic shows a photo of Trump with the text, “End Birthright Citizenship.”

Trump’s immigration platform also calls for the rounding up and deportation of  America’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants to their country of origin. From there, they’d be free to apply to become U.S. citizens.

Woods’ office did not immediately return a call for comment on whether she agrees with Trump’s immigration policy in its entirety–or whether she’d want to rescind citizenship from millions of immigratns who’ve become U.S. citizens under America’s birthright-citizenship law.

Most other Colorado politicians have been silent on birthright citizenship, but as recently as 2013, Rep. Mike Coffman confirmed his opposition to the policy, in an interview with The Denver Post, saying “sure” he’d like to abolish birthright citizenship.

Back in 2011, Coffman cosponsored a bill that would have abolished birthright citizenship.

Both Woods and Coffman represent swing districts where anti-immigration positions could turn off immigrant voters. About 20 percent of Coffman’s district is Latino.

Woods won her Westminster seat by about 650 votes in 2014, while Coffman has been seen as vulnerable since his district was re-drawn after the 2010 census. Coffman narrowly defeated a Democrat in 2012 and won by a larger margin in 2014.

 

Sounding like Trump, Brophy says unnamed “efficiencies” are needed to solve Colorado budget woes

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The latest Republican to stand in front of a camera and complain about state spending on health care for the elderly, disabled, and other poor people, without offering any alternatives, is former state Sen. Greg Brophy, who’s freshly back from a job with Rep. Ken Buck in Washington DC.

Brophy appeared on Politics Unplugged, 7News’ interview show, last month to say that Colorado is being forced, under TABOR rules, to refund taxes to citizens due to the hospital provider fee.

“The hospital provider fee and the other expansions of, well, it amounts to Obamacare, have committed spending on that area at the expense of every other area in state government,” said Brophy.

In 2009, Colorado tapped federal funds, used to match a “hospital provider fee” collected by hospitals, to expand Medicaid coverage to around 300,000 low-income people and children. It allowed kids, for example, from families of four making $45,000 annually to qualify for state Medicaid coverage. Later, Obamacare kicked in, reimbursing the state to cover more poor people in Colorado.

So yes, Colorado has expanded its Medicaid program. It’s one of the major functions of the state government, along with k-12 education, higher education, transportation, and prisons.

Brophy thinks the state has gone too far in helping the elderly, disabled, kids, and other poor people get medical coverage. If we weren’t covering more uninsured people, we could prioritize spending “on education and transportation where the people, I think, want it.”

So, reporters should ask how he wants to cut Medicaid. Knock off some of the disabled people? Keep in mind that the state isn’t paying for coverage of the newly added people anyway, since the feds pick up the tab for Obamacare and the hospital provider fee. So what would Brophy have us do? Charge poor people co-pays, which Brophy advocated in the past, saying poor people aready spend their money on, Lotto, cigarettes, and air conditioning? Would he have Colorado lower eligibility thresholds? Are we too generous?

Brophy didn’t return a call to explain.

“I really think we want to force the state of Colorado to find efficiencies in what they spend money on,” Brophy told 7News’ Marshall Zellinger, sounding a lot like Donald Trump.

Where are these efficiencies? Where’s reality? Or is it like, I’ll force Mexico to build the wall. Trust me, they will.