Most Republican ads featuring alleged tales of woe about Obamacare have come from third-party groups, but in his latest television spot, GOP Rep. Cory Gardner narrates his own sob story:
When Mark Udall voted for Obamacare, he promised us if we liked our health care plan, we could keep it. Well you know how that worked out.
I got a letter saying my family's plan was cancelled. 335,000 Coloradans had their plans cancelled too. Thousands of families saw their healthcare premiums rise. More cancellations are on the way. You might have one of those letters in your mailbox right now.
I'm Cory Gardner. I approved this message. Let's shake up the Senate.
And as with those ads from Americans for Prosperity or American Crossroads, there's plenty to pick apart here. Gardner, who is running for Senate against Udall, has been claiming his insurance plan got cancelled for quite some time
, and in the past, he repeatedly said that his premiums had more than doubled. But Gardner never offered any evidence
for that assertion, even though KDVR asked him for it five times, and it seems like he's dropped it now.
As for those allegedly cancelled plans, 92 percent of policy-holders were allowed to keep them. What's more, according to Gallup, the number of Coloradans who were uninsured fell by more than a third between 2013 and 2014—the fifth-largest drop in the nation. And premiums are set to increase just 3.6 percent in Colorado, compared to an average of 7.6 percent a year between 1991 and 2009. So the statistics Gardner's citing may sound scary, but they lack resonance.
Finally, you might be wondering how it was that Gardner was even in a position to have his own insurance plan cancelled in the first place. Yes, members of Congress are now required to purchase insurance on the exchanges, but this cancellation happened last year, before the law went into effect. It turns out that Gardner voluntarily chose to decline congressional coverage and bought his own insurance in its place—an extremely expensive decision that's comparable to turning down a bus pass from your employer and leasing a BMW instead.
As one healthcare expert put it, most people "don't have the resources" to do something like that (nor would they want to), so even if Gardner's story is accurate, it's "not the norm." You might almost imagine that Gardner did all this to make an asinine political point, one he's now trying to capitalize on. But what politician would ever do a thing like that?