News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

My productive Fourth of July work week at home included a number of constituent meetings and a speech to new citizens at an inspiring naturalization ceremony. This week, in both Denver and DC, my focus was mostly on health care, particularly blocking the continuing Republican effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I held a news conference on the dangers of Trumpcare along with two Coloradans engaged in the fight to protect our care. Kelly Baker was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a teenager and found her career path limited by her struggles to find insurance that would cover a preexisting condition, but thanks to the ACA, she’s been able to follow her dream of becoming an environmental scientist. Ashley Edelman is a woman’s health practitioner who has referred many of her lower-income patients to Planned Parenthood for life-saving screenings and procedures. She worries that Trumpcare’s gutting of this critical resource will irreparably harm many of the women she treats. Every member of Congress represents people like these two women who depend on the ACA for many different reasons. 

Kelly and Ashley are among the hundreds of constituents who have shared their views on Trumpcare, as well as stories showing why the ACA is critical to Coloradans, on my Facebook page. Your many notes have been poignant, informative and passionate, and I thank you for making your voices heard. As I promised, we've collected your views and delivered them to Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, who need to hear them as well before they vote on the next version of the bill. Trumpcare would be a disaster for our country, and your stories prove it.

Senate Republicans revealed their latest Trumpcare bill yesterday, and it’s even more cruel than the version they were forced to abandon last month. The tweaks made to the bill won’t address the damage it would do to millions of Americans who would lose health care or be forced to pay more for it. Still included are substantial and heartless cuts to Medicaid, significantly higher costs for working families and seniors, and provisions that gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions. 

 

Unilateral Senate adjustments to Trumpcare aren’t the solution. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office showed last month that the Senate Republicans’ bill would rip coverage away from 22 million people, including 240,000 in Colorado. We’ll now await the CBO’s verdict on this latest iteration, but no amount of repair to this deeply flawed bill will lead to a product that truly addresses ongoing issues in our health care system. Polls show most Americans think the parties should work together to mend the Affordable Care Act, not end it. That means abandoning Trumpcare and working on bipartisan solutions to the problems the American people want us to solve. In my latest post on Medium, I outlined the steps that must be taken to achieve bipartisan health care reform that benefits people over party.

There were other critical priorities as well this week. On Wednesday, I took part in the net neutrality day of action. Net neutrality ensures free speech online and helps small businesses thrive in the digital economy, creating good jobs in Colorado and across America. What’s more, gutting these protections could give corporations the power to control what you can and can’t access online, potentially stifling the kind of online grassroots organizing that spurred movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March. The FCC should maintain the rules for the free and open internet, not dismantle them.

And I’m proud to be part of a bipartisan group of House and Senate colleagues who introduced legislation on Wednesday that will help get every kid outdoors through expanded access to our national parks. The Every Kid Outdoors Act codifies into law the recent successful effort by the U.S. Interior Department to offer fourth graders and their families free entrance to all federally-managed public lands, resulting in record-setting visits to national parks last year. The outdoors is central to Colorado's way of life and our economy. Today’s fourth graders are tomorrow’s outdoor entrepreneurs and conservationists. Getting these students outside to enjoy our public lands – such as Rocky Mountain National Park or Black Canyon of the Gunnison – will help inspire future leaders to protect these places. 

As always, you can visit my website where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you. While you’re there, be sure to visit the “Contact” page and send me an email about what matters most to you and your family. Finally, be sure to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.


Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

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