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'This Bill Would Punish Rural Colorado': Hickenlooper On Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS4)- Gov. John Hickenlooper met with Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday to talk about the Senate health care bill. They're talking about what a bad bill it would be for Americans.

The two discussed the bill before a vote was delayed in the Senate until after the July 4 holiday. Before the vote was delayed, six GOP senators say they oppose the health care bill as it is currently written.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

The CBO projects that under the plan, 15 million people would be forced out of the program by 2026, resulting in a savings of $321 billion.

Hickenlooper says it's time for Democrats and Republicans to work together. Both he and Kasich represent states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

Gov. John Hickenlooper with Ohio Gov. John Kasich (credit: CBS)

"You know the reality of the matter is, we better pay attention to people, many of whom feel very disenfranchised in this country," said Kasich.

"We would see a reduction of 188,000 people in Colorado, more than half of them would be in rural parts of the state," said Hickenlooper.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (credit: CBS)

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican representing Colorado, was part of the group that drafted the bill but he hasn't discussed what he thinks of the current version.

Hickenlooper says he plans to talk to Gardner before the vote and believes the senator has the courage to understand the impact on people.

"Gardner grew up on the Eastern Plains of Colorado and he built his life with his own two hands, stellar career at the University of Colorado, a smart, talented guy, and that he understands the hardships and the difficulties of rural life. And this bill would punish people in rural Colorado," said Hickenlooper.

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

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat representing Colorado, has voiced his opposition to the health care bills, both the versions in the Senate and the House.

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Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: CBS)

"But if I set out to design a bill less responsive to the critics of Obamacare in Colorado, much less the many people who support it, it would be impossible to write a bill less responsive than the House bill. It's a political document, it's not a health care bill," said Bennet.

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