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25 million Blacks, Latinos missing from voter databases; major news organizations urge Biden and Trump to commit to presidential debates; NM gun-control advocates praise federal rule closing 'gun show loophole; Arkansas group raising awareness during Black Maternal Health Week.

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House Republicans want citizenship proof for federal election voting, under White House pressure Israel shows restraint after Iran's attack and Trump's hush money trial starts.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

CO Groups Challenge Sen. Gardner on Affordable Care Act Repeal

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Monday, January 9, 2017   

DENVER -- As Congress moves to repeal the Affordable Care Act, proponents of the health care law are taking their case to Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner's doorstep, literally. A coalition plans to gather outside the Republican senator's Denver and Greeley offices at noon on Tuesday.

Adela Flores-Brennan with the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative said they will deliver a petition with more than 1,000 signatures from Coloradans urging Gardner "not to gamble with their health care."

"Our state's economy and the health and financial security of thousands of working Colorado families is in jeopardy if we repeal the Affordable Care Act without a comprehensive plan in place to provide quality, affordable health care,” Flores-Brennan said.

In a national Republican address, Gardner promised that repealing Obamacare will be a priority, citing rising insurance premiums and canceled plans. But a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll found only one-in-five Americans wants to see the ACA repealed before a replacement plan is put forward.

Flores-Brennan said if Congress makes good on its promise to repeal, nearly 600,000 Coloradans would be among the 20 million Americans at risk of losing their health insurance.

"And that includes people who have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion as well as through reforms in the individual insurance market, and people who are now able to buy coverage or afford coverage because they have access to premium subsidies,” she said.

Flores-Brennan said she acknowledges that some criticisms of the health insurance market are valid - particularly the rate increases year-after-year.

“But,” she said, "the appropriate action would be to see what kinds of changes we can put in place to help keep costs down, and to help keep the rates of insurance from increasing."

A vote in the U.S. Senate to cut funding for the ACA is expected by midweek, and if the resolution passes, it will move to the House. Congressional leaders hope to deliver a final bill to the White House by February 20.



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