Repealing & Replacing the ACA
In 1994, as a member of the Colorado State House, I introduced House Bill 94-1210, a pioneering health insurance reform measure. This was long before most people even thought of health insurance as a major issue. HB94-1210 provided what is called “guaranteed issue”, meaning that insurance carriers had to cover those with preexisting conditions and could not rate anyone differently based on their health status. The bill spread the cost of doing this through a technique known as “adjusted community rating,” and the legislation prohibited pricing discrimination based on gender.
HB94-1210, was aimed at the small employer health insurance market and the individual market. Larger employers were not included because were regulated at the federal level and exempt from state insurance regulations under the “Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.” Larger groups were not seen as having the same problems that smaller health insurance groups and individual markets had. Small employers and those who purchase health insurance on their own were experiencing severe difficulties with pre-existing conditions and discrimination based on gender.
Unfortunately, I was not able to fend off an amendment that exempted the individual health insurance market from the landmark consumer protections provided for in my legislation, but I was at least able to advance these protections for the small employers and the legislation was the first major attempt to reform the health care insurance system in Colorado. Ultimately HB-94-1210 was signed into law by then Governor Roy Romer.
Now, ‘fast forward’ to 2010, the year when the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. It provided all of the consumer protections that were adopted in Colorado, and many other states, for the small group market and included reforms to the troubled individual health insurance market. While many of these provisions were significant improvements, the ACA’s principal tool for expanding health care has been the expansion of the Medicaid program to cover able-bodied working individuals, without dependent children, and by increasing the income eligibility up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
The ACA has expanded coverage through the Medicaid program, at an enormous cost to the taxpayers, but has otherwise failed to deliver on its promises to lower costs and to expand private insurance coverage. This is particularly true in the health insurance exchanges, where individuals are able to navigate these government-sponsored websites to see what options are available for them and the subsidies they are eligible for based on income.
For those purchasing insurance through Colorado’s insurance exchange in 2017, they will find that rates have increased an average of 20% over 2016. Nationally, the price of insurance coverage has increased by 25%. Additionally, the number of insurers willing to provide coverage to individuals is rapidly dwindling in our state. In western Colorado, there are 14 counties where only 1 insurance carrier services their area. Clearly this model is unsustainable.
What I plan to do to address the inevitable failure of the ACA in Congress is to:
Finally and perhaps most importantly, I will not vote for to repeal any part of the ACA without a concurrent replacement.
U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) announced earliert this month that during the district work period of 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.
In the month of March, Coffman will commence the second phase of this listening effort when he plans to hold several telephone town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding their concerns about the ACA.
For his third-phase, Coffman will hold a 'traditional' town-hall event in the district that will be scheduled in the month April.
Information on how to participate in these telephone town halls and information on district events will be made available at www.coffman.house.gov/events.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), joined by Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Susan Davis (D-CA), and Mike Coffman (R-CO), today introduced the Department of Defense Emergency Response Capabilities Database Enhancement Act, legislation that would require National Guard and Reserve forces to track cyber capabilities. This is a companion bill to legislation introduced by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).
“During a time of crisis, it is imperative that we have the ability to call upon our cyber warriors in the National Guard and the Reserves at a moment’s notice. The men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserves often have critical expertise in their civilian careers, especially in cybersecurity and technology, and tracking their skills is essential if we are to tap into and utilize that talent,” said Langevin, the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, who is also a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees. “I have great respect for the work the Department of Defense has done on this issue, and it is time that we formalize this capability in order to strengthen our cyber defenses.”
This legislation builds upon work previously done by the Department of Defense, and would require the Department to add cybersecurity as a category to an existing database that tracks the specialties and capabilities - such as engineering or aviation - of National Guard and Reserve service members.
“It is imperative we utilize all resources at our disposal in a coordinated, sustained response to defend our nation against daily cyber-attacks from hostile actors at home and abroad. Tapping into the existing expertise and capabilities of our National Guard and Reserve units in cybersecurity will strengthen our response to the latest assaults on our national security,” said LoBiondo, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“The cybersecurity threat to our nation continues to build,” said Davis, a senior member of House Armed Services Committee. “We need to properly organize and utilize all of our resources including service members in the Guard and Reserve. Service members bring unique additional capabilities to our cybersecurity fight. I am glad to join my colleagues in formalizing our ability to leverage these talents when we need them most.”
“Today, we have introduced in the House a bipartisan bill, aimed at enhancing the Department of Defense’s ability to track critical cyber capabilities and skills possessed by members of the National Guard and Reserves,” said Coffman. “In a world of ever increasing cyber threats, we cannot rely only on those on active duty to fight these new battles. We need to take advantage of the skills so many of our Guard and Reserve personnel have who work in ‘cyber space’ in their civilian jobs to help defend our nation.”Read More
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) released the following statement today in regards to U.S. National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn:
“As national security advisor, Michael Flynn is responsible to the President, Vice President, and the American people. It is his duty to be fully transparent and forthright in his actions—anything less is unacceptable. If in fact he purposely misled the President, he should step down immediately.”
Calls for entries from students across Colorado’s Sixth District
(Aurora, CO) -- Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) announced the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.
Started in 1982 by the U.S. House of Representatives, this annual competition highlights high school students' artistic works from across the country. According to the Congressional Institute, more than 700,000 high school students have participated since the competition’s inaugural year.
“I invite students in grades 9 - 12 from Colorado's Sixth Congressional District to participate in the Congressional Art Competition,” said Coffman. “Every year, I am happy to see the artistic talents our students on display and I look forward to seeing the submissions of this year.”
The first place winner’s submission will be displayed in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel in the U.S. Capitol, along with other winners nationwide, for a period of one year. Additionally, the first place winner will receive two free round-trip airline tickets to Washington, DC to view his or her artwork in the Cannon Building and will be eligible for a partial scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
Nicole Hathaway, from Heritage High School in Littleton, CO, won first place in last year’s competition with her work titled “Silver Linings”
Below is a list of important dates and events for interested students:
For more information, including submission guidelines, click HERE.Read More
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.
Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) led the bipartisan reintroduction of the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental HealthCare Act (H.R. 918).
This legislation would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide initial mental health assessments and urgent mental healthcare services to veterans at risk of suicide or harming others, even if they have an other than honorable discharge. A service member receives a less than honorable discharge, or “bad paper” discharge, when released from the military for relatively minor forms of misconduct. In all too many recent instances, however, this misconduct resulted from the service member’s experiences during a combat deployment.
Representative Coffman stated, “It is critical that our men and women in uniform know they can reach out to the VA for help when they come home from a combat deployment. We particularly need to watch out for those suffering from “invisible” wounds that may lead to behavioral and other mental health conditions. This bill would let more veterans facing a crisis know that they are not alone and have a place to turn for expert support and treatment.”
Representative Kilmer added, ““We ask a great deal of those who serve our country,” said Kilmer. “The men and women who protect our freedoms at home should expect to receive quality care when they retire. But too many veterans are struggling with mental health issues and don’t have access to the medical professionals that could help them heal. This bill would let more veterans facing a crisis know that they are not alone and have a place to turn for expert support and treatment.”
Since 2009, the Army has separated at least 22,000 combat veterans diagnosed with mental health disabilities or TBI for alleged misconduct. This has occurred despite congressionally mandated reforms intended to halt the administrative separations of veterans suffering from service-related conditions.
The bill also requires a third-party study of veteran suicide to review: The effect of combat service on veteran suicide rates; the rate and method of suicide among veterans who have received healthcare from VA; and the rate and method of suicide among veterans who have not received healthcare from the VA.
According to the VA’s 2016 veteran suicide report, an average of 20 veterans per day commits suicide. However, evidence collected suggests that there is a decrease in rates of suicide among veterans receiving VA health care, as opposed to veterans who do not.Read More
Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) released the following statement after the Treasury Department announced further economic sanctions for Iran:
“Time after time Iran has continued to defy the international community with its increasingly sophisticated weapons program. It’s latest missile test is proof that appeasement does not work. I applaud the Treasury’s Department implementation of additional economic sanctions as a means to hold the Iranian government accountable for its conduct.”
U.S. Representative Mike Coffman is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.Read More
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) released the following statement in response to President Trump nomination of Colorado native, Judge Neil Gorsuch, to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court:
“The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court is welcome news. Judge Gorsuch’s record in the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit shows that he will defend the original intent of our Founding Fathers and preserve the fundamental rights of Americans protected by the Constitution. It will be great to see a Coloradan serve on the country’s highest court, and considering he was confirmed for his current position by voice vote in the U.S. Senate in 2006, we encourage our Colorado colleagues in the U.S. Senate to support Judge Gorsuch’s swift confirmation.”
Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) released the following statement in response to the Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Acting Secretary, Mr. Robert D. Snyder, issuing a memorandum establishing hiring exemptions at the VA. Such came after the Federal hiring freeze directive under the Presidential Memorandum of January 23, 2017:
“I approve of the actions taken by the VA Acting Secretary to exempt public health and safety personnel from the federal hiring freeze. This action ensures that our veterans healthcare needs are being met not only in our district, but nationwide. I will, as I have in the past, remain steadfast in making sure our veterans receive the healthcare they have earned and rightly deserve.”
Construction of the Denver VA Medical Center is not affected under the Presidential order.
Washington, DC -- U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) released the following statement after President Donald Trump's announcement of executive actions involving sanctuary cities. Below is the complete quote from Rep. Coffman, which the Denver Post by truncating it took out of context:
"I’ve voted in the past to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities and I will continue to do so because, I am committed to the rule of law. It is my understanding, that no community within my congressional district, including my hometown of Aurora, has formally declared itself as a sanctuary city. Accordingly, I do not anticipate the Secretary to deem any community in the 6th Congressional district a sanctuary city.”Read More
2443 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Mike Coffman began his distinguished career of serving our nation at a very young age. At age seventeen, after finishing his junior year at Aurora Central High School in 1972, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Through the Army, Coffman was able to earn a high school diploma. In 1974, he left active duty to attend the University of Colorado under the G.I. Bill where he continued his military career by serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. Coffman took a leave of absence from the U.S. Army Reserve and the University of Colorado to attend D.G. Vaishnav College in Chennai, India in 1976 and the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico in 1977. Coffman graduated from the University of Colorado in 1979 and immediately transferred from the U.S. Army Reserve to the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as an infantry officer.
In 1983, Coffman came back home to Colorado and started a small business, an Aurora-based property management company, that would grow to over 20 employees. He remained the senior share holder of the firm for the next seventeen years until selling his interest in 2000. While in business, he continued serving in the military by joining the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
In his role as a Colorado small business owner, Coffman saw the need to bring more common sense pro-growth economic policies to state government so he ran and was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1988 and re-elected in 1990. Shortly after his 1990 re-election, Coffman took an unpaid leave of absence from the state legislature and volunteered to return to active duty for the first Gulf War where he served as the executive officer for a light armored infantry company. The battalion that Coffman served in was ordered to attack and defend positions inside of Kuwait, for three consecutive days prior to the main ground attack, as part of a deception and reconnaissance-by-fire operation. Coffman retired from the military in 1994 after having served for seven years between the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve and thirteen years between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve.
In 1994, Coffman was elected to the State Senate where he served as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. While in the State Senate, he completed the Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1998, Coffman was elected to the office of State Treasurer and re-elected in 2002. In 2005, the U.S. Marine Corps was under strength in meeting their requirements for the Iraq War and begun to extend Marines beyond their active duty enlistments, recall Marines recently released from active duty, and selectively reach out to retired Marines and request their return to active duty. Coffman resigned his position as the State Treasurer and volunteered to return to the U.S. Marine Corps for an assignment in Iraq. In Iraq, Coffman was a civil affairs officer where he worked in support of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) in 2005 and in 2006 he was reassigned to help establish interim local governments in the Western Euphrates River Valley.
In 2006, Coffman came home after completing a full tour of duty in Iraq and was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to serve out the remainder of his term as the State Treasurer. In that same year, he ran and was elected to the Office of Secretary of State and served in that capacity until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.
Coffman is the only veteran in the Colorado delegation and the only Member of Congress to have served in both the first Gulf War and in the Iraq War. Congressman Coffman represents the 6th Congressional District of Colorado and serves on the Armed Services Committee, the Veteran’s Affairs Committee where he is the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and on the House Committee on Small Business.
Coffman and his wife Cynthia were married in 2005 just before he deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps. Cynthia Coffman was the Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Bill Owens before becoming the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Colorado under Attorney General John Suthers. Coffman attends Faith Presbyterian Church in Aurora with his eighty year-old mother, Dorothy Coffman.
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ICYMI: Today, I appeared on Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business network to talk about the #ACA, taxes and our economy.
It was great to sit down today and talk #ACA with members of the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado about their healthcare experience and challenges.
As my 'ACA listening tour' continues, I invite you to read:
Thanks to @connectforhealthco for their insight on how consumers access/purchase their healthcare & how we can make it easier and more efficient
Met this morning with @AumhcAurora as part of ACA listening tour. Thankful for all their hard work in our community!