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Hickenlooper Becomes Leading Voice Against GOP Health Care Bill

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4)- Gov. John Hickenlooper is calling the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act "cold hearted and disrespectful," and on Monday he blasted Senate Republicans for crafting a new health care bill in secrecy.

John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

"To think that one party can make this work is crazy," Hickenlooper told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

Hickenlooper Signature 2
(credit: CBS)

Hickenlooper signed on to a letter sent to Senate leaders urging them to drop the current repeal of the ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare, for a bill that includes the input of Democrats and the states. Six governors, including Ohio Republican John Kasich and two other Republicans, also signed the letter.

Hickenlooper Signature
(credit: CBS)

Hickenlooper said the current plan risks the health care of 600,000 Coloradans.

"My message to all the senators is work with Republican governors and Democratic governors. Let's really see if there is a way to control the inflation, reduce the cost of Medicaid and not roll back everybody's coverage. I think there is a way to do that," he said.

Thirteen Republican senators including Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado's junior senator, are drafting the bill behind closed doors. The process is now drawing outrage from both sides of the political spectrum as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) appears set to introduce the bill without a committee hearing and with only a few hours before requiring a vote. The final version of the bill is expected soon.

Hickenlooper is pleading with Congressional leaders to focus on restructuring Obamacare instead of starting from scratch.

"We agree that we got to control cost and we got to diminish what we're spending, but let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. That's crazy," he said.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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