Diane Mitsch Bush: Western Slope health care costs out of control
For over 20 years, I have been honored to be your public servant. As a Routt County planning commissioner for 10 years, then as your elected two-term county commissioner, I worked hard and effectively to build a balance between development, private-property rights and the environmental protections that we count on for clean air, water, family agriculture and wildlife habitat. I successfully fought for transportation solutions, ensuring that rural areas of Colorado were not overlooked in expanding opportunities for connectivity. These are the keys to economic vitality.
Serving as your first state representative for House District 26 was also a great honor. I focused on the things that our communities needed to thrive: affordable housing, adequately funded public education, transportation, good jobs, quality health care and a clean environment. During my time in the state house, it became increasingly clear that health care costs in Colorado, and throughout the nation, are out of control.
I sponsored bipartisan efforts to investigate why health insurance companies were holding us hostage, forcing us to pay outrageous premiums, limiting our choice of doctors and tinkering with the price of prescription drugs. As the health care situation became more acute, I realized that we had to make a bigger impact on the issues that were stifling working families and businesses in Colorado.
On May 4, 2017, Scott Tipton voted to make health care matters worse, not better. His vote to take health care insurance from 23 million Americans was no solution. Coloradans wrote and called him, warning that this would raise their premiums and strip coverage from 45,000 of their neighbors. As he’s done so often these past eight years, Rep. Tipton did not listen. Instead, he chose to repeal the Affordable Care Act without even considering how to replace it. There is no question that the ACA has room for improvement. But taking a partisan stance and walking away from the problem does not help anyone.
We need health care that is affordable and accessible for all. Colorado’s Western Slope has the dubious distinction of having the highest premiums in the country. That’s not acceptable. My opponent likes to discourage us from trying to fix it by suggesting wild cost estimates from a Koch Brothers-funded think tank. But his fluctuating cost estimates, like his record, are out of date and out of step with us, his constituents.
Our district is beautiful and filled with creative, compassionate, hard-working people. I can’t help but dream big when I think about our future. We need to invest in broadband and water infrastructure, transportation and renewable energy. All of these bring good-paying jobs to our district. Tipton and his friends in Congress have promised us an infrastructure bill for over two years but have not delivered.
Time after time, Tipton’s votes support his campaign donors and the extreme wing of his party, but they hurt the people of Colorado. Tipton was willing to spend $2 trillion on tax cuts for the top 1 percent, but when it came time to vote for funding for PTSD and suicide prevention for veterans, he voted “no.” He could have voted to reduce the backlog of disability claims for injured veterans, but instead he voted “no.”
As your representative, I want to hear your concerns and help find solutions because that’s what this job is all about. I will be accountable to you, and I will bring back accountability to Washington. Our country needs Congress to act as a check and balance, not as a lapdog that covers its eyes in response to corruption and mismanagement.
Diane Mitsch Bush
Colorado 3rd Congressional District Democratic candidate
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