Headines: July 26, 2017

Colorado’s Republican candidates for governor sounded off with frustration this week as members of Congress tried to repeal and replace — or just repeal— Obamacare.

George Brauchler, Victor Mitchell and Doug Robinson each said they hoped their Republican brethren in D.C. would pass a bill and expressed disappointment they hadn’t passed one yet.

Robinson said in business he would lock people in a room and “withhold food” until they came up with a plan.

The Republican candidates offered their own solutions for healthcare, ranging from drug-testing Medicaid recipients to entrepreneurial health clinics to increased premiums for able-bodied adults on Medicaid.

Arapahoe County-area district attorney Brauchler, who receives health insurance through the Army since he was on active duty, likes what the Republican governors of Wisconsin, Arizona and Kentucky have done. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, for instance, asked the Trump administration for approval to drug test Medicaid recipients. Brauchler wouldn’t want to do it as a way to kick people off the insurance rolls, he told The Colorado Independent, but as a vehicle to find out who needs state-funded help for rehabilitation.

Mitchell, an entrepreneur and former lawmaker, wants more transparency in health care pricing and to use block grant money to create what he calls “young entrepreneur-nurse-practitioner-physician-assistants-type clinics” that could handle common procedures like mammograms and colonoscopies.

Retired investment banker Doug Robinson is a fan of health savings accounts and incentives for healthy living. He would want to see about raising Medicaid copays for able-bodied adults without kids and perhaps charging them a monthly premium.

Donald Trump’s Colorado co-chair Steve Barlock says he would make sure the state’s health commissioner is an investigator and would look at where the state’s Medicaid money is going because, he says, he doesn’t trust the government is telling the truth.

Many in Colorado’s Congressional delegation are responding critically to President Donald Trump’s Twitter announcement Wednesday morning to ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity.

About 15,000 transgender servicemen and women across the country currently serve in the military.

Republican Congressman Ken Buck of Windsor, who in 2008 became the first district attorney in the nation to prosecute the killing of a transgender woman as a hate crime, quickly registered his disagreement.

“America needs a military comprised of patriots willing to sacrifice for this country,” Buck said in a statement. “Any American who is physically and emotionally qualified should be allowed to serve.”

Both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators, Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner also took issue with Trump’s stance. But Colorado Springs-area Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn said he agreed with the president that accommodating transgender people would cost too much money.

The ACLU and gay rights organizations in the state were also been quick to condemn the order as discriminatory.

Also in Colorado Springs, Staff Sgt. Patricia King, the first openly transgender soldier serving at the Army’s Fort Carson base wondered if she had just been “fired on Twitter.” She told her local newspaper, The Gazette, that she’s been serving her country honorably for 18 years, and, “I plan on continuing to serve until someone tells me I can’t.”

An update on Colorado’s water supply is now running at least a year behind schedule as the state continues to plan for a looming water shortage.

The update is known as the Statewide Water Supply Initiative or SWA-zee to those in the know. SWA-zee tells water planners how climate change and population growth impacts the state’s water supplies, both now, and more importantly, in the future, when Colorado’s population is expected to increase by some three million new residents.

But the latest update, which was due to come out this summer, won’t be ready for almost another year. State water officials claim the delay is due to a number of factors, some outside of their control, including state contracting rules.

One state senator believes the delay is also because of a lack of get up and go by the recently departed head of the state’s water conservation board. Senator Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling says the state needs to know what has changed over the last eight years “I can’t imagine the solutions will change much, but it could force us to accelerate what we need to accomplish .”




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