Health care: What do Colorado candidates for governor think?

Senate health care bill awaits vote
Posted at 10:50 AM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 12:50:58-04

DENVER -- As the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act awaits a vote, leaders in many states are considering what role states may play in the future of health care.

Denver7 looked at statements made by the declared candidates in the 2018 Colorado Governor's race:


Ed Perlmutter 

On June 26th, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter released this statement in response to the Senate health care bill:

“A small group of Senate Republicans worked for weeks in secrecy only to unveil a disastrous plan much like the House version’s repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Under these plans millions of Coloradans are at risk of losing their health care. This process is creating uncertainty in the marketplace and it places our economy at risk. Furthermore, the Senate Republican plan devastates the Medicaid program and allows states to strip essential health coverage for many hardworking Coloradans.  This process is ridiculous and the health care bill is even worse.”

Jared Polis

On June 26th, U.S. Rep Jared Polis released this statement on the Senate health care bill:

“The nonpartisan, objective analysis of the Republican healthcare plan is out, and the news is devastating, as we expected.  It takes us backward, rolling back any and all progress achieved under the Affordable Care Act,” Polis said. "The Republican plan would leave 22 million behind without health insurance; and women, veterans, children, seniors, rural communities, and people with pre-existing conditions would suffer the consequences. It's past time for Republicans to stop prioritizing special interests over the American people.”

Cary Kennedy

Kennedy's website claims she helped expand access to health care for tens of thousands of low income Children in Colorado during her tenure serving under Governor Roy Romer. She previously worked as the fiscal analyst for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.  

Mike Johnston

Johnston's website says "he will fight the Trump administration to preserve the expansion of Medicaid in Colorado." He also touts his legislative accomplishments on health care, including sponsored a bill that created the Alzheimer's disease research center at the University of Colorado. In 2014 Mike co-sponsored the creation the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care in order to improve access and quality of care.

Noel Ginsburg

According to an article in the Colorado Independent: "[Ginsburg] says that more attention needs to be paid to mental health issues and ensuring the state’s mental health services are available for everyone across the state. He calls Colorado’s opioid epidemic a symptom of a mental health epidemic."

Erik Underwood

According to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette: "The top two issues that motivate Underwood the most are transportation and healthcare, specifically expanding Medicaid help to more people, he said."


George Brauchler

From his website: Coloradans deserve access to patient centered healthcare and affordable premiums. Obamacare must be repealed to make this happen. Since becoming the law of the land, Obamacare has driven more and more Coloradans onto our Medicaid rolls. At the same time, it has stifled the state's ability to be innovative and has driven costs up at the expense of other state funding priorities, like education and transportation. We need greater flexibility that gets Washington out of the way and allows our state to craft a Colorado specific Medicaid plan that is best for Colorado's unique needs.

Victor Mitchell

Mitchell says he wants to get costs under control for our state’s Medicaid program for low-income persons by shifting care to more cost-effective clinics staffed by nurse practitioners.

Doug Robinson

A mission statement on his website talks about batting drug use: We can do better for our young people and all Coloradans by implementing effective treatment strategies to reduce opioid addiction, and putting in place a cohesive regulatory structure for our medical and recreational marijuana industries.

JoAnne Silva

No specific plan on health care 

Lew Gaiter

No specific plan on health care