National News

Cory Gardner taking 'first' look at health care bill he helped create; Dems slam bill and process

Posted June 22

— U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Thursday that he was taking his first look at the Senate's version of the replacement for the Affordable Care Act, which he helped craft, and that the bill "deserves serious debate, not knee-jerk reaction."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the 142-page discussion draft of the Senate's health care bill, which they have dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, Thursday morning after weeks of anticipation and fervor over what has so far been a secretive process without any open committee hearings.

Gardner told Denver7 Wednesday he hadn't seen a text version of the bill despite being one of a handful of Republicans working in small groups to craft the bill. Senate Republicans wrote their own bill after the House of Representatives passed its version, the American Health Care Act, in early May.

Most senators have so far said Thursday they are waiting to read and analyze the full bill before saying whether or not they will support it or if it differs significantly from the House version.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, called the bill "every bit as bad as the House bill" and other Republicans, including Maine's Susan Collins, said they were carefully scrutinizing the bill.

Gardner slammed those who he said were jumping to conclusions about the bill without fully analyzing it.

"It's frustrating that instead of actually reviewing the legislative text some have decided to immediately oppose the bill before it was even introduced," Gardner told Denver7 in a statement. "This deserves serious debate, not knee-jerk reaction."

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