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'Make Sure Medicaid Is Sustainable': Sen. Gardner On Health Care Bill

DENVER (CBS4)- Sen. Cory Gardner is talking about some of the details in the revised version of the GOP health care bill.

Gardner talked with CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd on Wednesday about the Republican version of the health care bill, which is expected to be released to the public on Thursday.

Colorado's junior Senator indicated the new version would likely include one big change: it keeps the tax hikes on wealthier people that the previous version eliminated.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R) Colorado (credit: CBS)

One of the biggest criticism of the Republican health care bill is that it will cause 22 million people to lose insurance, many of them included in the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Gardner is part of the main working group on Medicaid reform and says his goal is to save Medicaid for those who need it most.

Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (credit: CBS)

"If we do nothing, if we let the status quo continue, then I'm worried that that safety net, the important safety net is going to be crowded out. It's going to be crowded out by other programs, it's going to be crowded out by a fight for scarce resources- tax dollars- and it's going to be crowded out by people who are newly eligible to Medicaid: able-bodied adults without children, that's what the expansion under Obamacare created. I'm worried that those who truly need help the most are going to find it difficult to compete for resources need. That's why have to make sure Medicaid is sustainable," said Gardner.

Gardner also responded to the critics who say he's ignoring Coloradans. He says that he has talked more than a dozen times, including a 30-minute call on Tuesday, with disability advocates. Some of those advocates were arrested earlier this month after camping out at Gardner's office in Denver.

(credit: Facebook)

Gardner said he and his health care policy staff have organized nearly 400 meetings across Colorado, including one with the group called Democratic Socialists.

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