WASHINGTON, DC (CBS4)– Sen. Cory Gardner was released from coronavirus quarantine on Wednesday, just in time to speak on the Senate floor before the final vote of the stimulus package and CARES Act.
The Colorado Republican said that lawmakers are obligated to provide stability in these uncertain times.
“We will address the health emergency, that’s our number one obligation. While we do that, we have to make sure that individuals have the certainty that they need, they deserve. We have to answer their questions of anxiety to make sure that they know they’re gonna be okay,” said Gardner.
Gardner also joined Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D), along with Colorado U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D), Joe Neguse (D), Scott Tipton (R), Ken Buck (R), Doug Lamborn (R), Jason Crow (D), and Ed Perlmutter (D), in a request on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) waive certain requirements hampering the State of Colorado’s efforts to provide much-needed care to Coloradans during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In their letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, they requested a swift review of the state’s application for an 1135 waiver, which would provide Colorado’s Medicaid program more flexibility to serve Coloradans during this turbulent period.
The lawmakers’ letter follows an announcement on Monday from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that it will grant 11 other states 1135 waivers.
“On March 24, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the State’s Single State Medicaid agency, submitted an 1135 waiver, designed to reduce administrative burdens on: clients seeking access to care; on the state’s Medicaid program; and, on providers seeking to participate in Medicaid,” wrote Bennet and the lawmakers. “This three-pronged approach will free up valuable state resources during a time when, more than ever, Coloradans need seamless access to care and the state needs to devote as many resources as possible to the COVID-19 response.”
“On behalf of our constituents, we urge HHS to complete full and fair consideration of Colorado’s 1135 waiver application in the most expeditious manner possible,” concluded the lawmakers.