The Home Front: With Cory Gardner helping craft Senate healthcare bill, pressure mounts in Colorado

“Local Indivisible groups have a message for U.S. Senator Cory Gardner — when it comes to angry constituents, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The myriad of Colorado Indivisible groups are an offshoot of the national Indivisible movement, which began as a progressive reaction to Donald Trump’s election and plan to use the Tea Party tactics of 2009 to effect change on the congressional level. The groups are particularly outraged after the U.S. House narrowly passed a bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare. The bill is now headed to the Senate, where 13 Republican senators will craft the senate’s plan. Gardner is one of the 13 senators picked to craft a health care bill. The House’s American Health Care Act bill would allow states to get federal waivers that allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions who have let their coverage lapse. States would then be able to use federal money to fund ‘high-risk pools.'”

Meanwhile, “A ‘Western food fight’ could break out over exactly where the Bureau of Land Management’s national headquarters should be located if U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner succeeds in his push to get the office moved out West, he concedes,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “But the Republican from Colorado told The Daily Sentinel in an interview that he still thinks Grand Junction is well positioned to compete for the office if legislation he introduced this week becomes law. For months, Gardner has been pushing the idea of moving the BLM’s headquarters from Washington to the West. Ninety-nine percent of the land the agency manages is located in the West, and Gardner believes national-level BLM decision-makers should be located near the lands and people their decisions affect.”

“A runner collapsed in the Poudre Canyon during the Colorado Marathon on Sunday morning,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The man, whose identity has not been released, reportedly went into cardiac arrest. First responders administered CPR and a defibrillator, according to Poudre Fire Authority spokeswoman Madeline Noblett. He was airlifted to an area hospital. Additional information about his condition has not been released.”

“West Steamboat Springs residents who are hoping a potential large new development and annexation on their end of town might quickly spur the city to send buses to their neighborhoods shouldn’t hold their breath,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “City officials are recommending that the city maintain the status quo and continue bus service only as far as the KOA campgrounds in the near future. The city estimates it would cost a hefty sum of $4.65 million, plus an additional $700,000 in annual operating costs, to expand local bus service to the new development proposed by Brynn Grey as well as Downhill Drive, Silver Spur, Steamboat II and Heritage Park.”

“Harold Daniels turned 90 last month, and he still works three days a week as the chef in his wife’s Loveland tea room,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Ask Harold how long he’s going to keep at it, and he says with a twinkle in his eye, “Well, how long do you think I can hold out?” Then he tells a story about the 95-year-old man who worked at a bank in Greeley and shot pool every day on his lunch hour. You get the feeling that he’s aiming to do the guy one better. Harold’s wife, Madeline, herself no spring chicken, opened The Swan House Celtic tea room in downtown Loveland about 12 years ago. When asked whether she and Harold plan to close the tea house anytime soon, Madeline displays the family tenacity. ‘There’s no need to retire when you can still go,’ she says.”

“A compromise teen sexting bill is heading to the desk of Colorado’s governor after passing both chambers of the state’s legislature and more than two years of fierce debate about how to address the complicated issue that’s becoming more prevalent,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “It’s all equal parts relief and happiness,” said Rep. Yuelin Willett, R-Grand Junction, who has been one of the champions of the legislation. “I think it’s actually a better bill than when it started. I think it actually ended up around the right place after about 30 stakeholders fought over it for two years.” House Bill 1302 was approved the state Senate on Thursday after unanimously passing the House.”

“Two Roaring Fork Valley environmental groups are joining the battle to preserve national monuments in southwestern Colorado, Utah’s spectacular redrock country and across the West,” reports The Aspen Times. “Aspen-based EcoFlight and Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop are working to prevent the Trump administration from eliminating or altering boundaries of monuments. President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 26 directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to start the reviews. The agency on Friday identified the 21 national monuments and five Marine National Monuments that will be scrutinized. They include the Canyons of the Ancients in southwest Colorado, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears in southeastern Utah.”

“A Dove Creek farmer was reimbursed more than $26,500 on Friday after a herd of elk last summer destroyed his cornfield, resulting in a complete loss of crops,” reports The Durango Herald. “The money comes from a Colorado Parks and Wildlife fund derived from the purchase of hunting licenses, which is then dedicated to repaying landowners who experience damage from big game animals. A reimbursement is made only after other methods of prevention have proved unsuccessful, as was the case with Dove Creek resident John Nielson, who owns property off County Road 5. According to a Parks and Wildlife report, Nielson notified the department July 30 that a herd of wild elk had damaged two cornfields that cover about 23-acres in Dolores County.”

“It’s been two long months since the state’s Medicaid department went live with a new computer system to pay doctors, caregivers for the disabled and others who treat needy people with government insurance,” reports The Denver Post. “Medical clinics, children’s mental health centers and therapists say the new payment system is broken. And despite complaining to lawmakers, the governor’s office and state Medicaid officials, and spending hours on hold with the computer system’s help line, they still are suffering without income they rely on to keep their businesses open. Some have wiped out their savings, borrowed from the bank and gone without salaries as they await reimbursement for care they already provided. Others say they are on the brink of closing or stopping services.”

“Wednesday’s end of the Colorado legislative session feels a little like Christmas, but with liquor and bitterness instead of the milk of human kindness,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “It’s not going to be a happy new year. Lawmakers knew they had to get big things done before May 10, because that’s 120 days from when they started, just like Christmas follows Thanksgiving. The session opened on Jan. 10 full of promises about finding bipartisanship. They would find billions of dollars for transportation. They would bury talks of restructuring a fee that means critical federal matching dollars for rural hospitals. They would rally around the common cause of education. Now, 117 days later, none of those things are yet true.”


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