Additional reading: Our one pager on the Colorado Senate election.
For someone with a reputation as something of a centrist, John Hickenlooper sure has a lot of detailed plans for progressive change on his website. Seriously. Where other candidates talk about the importance of doing such-and-such or prioritizing this-and-that, Hickenlooper has a stack of plans backed by years of policy research -- as well as incredibly successful terms as Mayor of Denver and Governor of Colorado under his belt -- leaving us with no doubt that he’ll be a leader of the highest order.
What makes John Hickenlooper different from every other candidate campaigning on our broken healthcare system? First off, he’s got a sterling record of improving access to affordable care. As Governor, he expanded Medicaid to cover 400,000 more Coloradans. He established new programs to improve healthcare quality in Colorado, including creating a state exchange that improved transparency for consumers looking at insurance plans, rescuing rural hospitals on the brink of collapse, and mandating that insurance plans provide coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Second, he’s proved his commitment to the idea that securing quality healthcare for Americans requires defending women’s access to the full range of their reproductive rights, providing services for Americans with disabilities, and ensuring equal access to healthcare for LGBTQ individuals, for whom discrimination in the healthcare system is far too common.
His plans check all the essential boxes: outlaw discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, end the repugnant practice of surprise medical billing, and take on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug costs, which he can do without fear, thanks to his commitment not to take money from corporate PACs. (In contrast, incumbent Republican Cory Gardner has accepted millions from these groups, including over $500,000 from Big Pharma). But John Hickenlooper doesn’t just stop at declaring healthcare a human right; he knows that for all of us to enjoy our rights equally, we can’t afford to ignore the social realities that create enormous disparities in health outcomes. With Black women 3-4 times more likely than white women to die in childbirth, Hickenlooper knows we have a responsibility to collect data and figure out why. With socioeconomic status functioning as a reliable predictor for overall health, it’s clear that promoting public health isn’t just about insurance: it’s making housing affordable, increasing access to health food, and improving public education. John Hickenlooper is dedicated to doing it the right way -- from the bottom up -- to ensure long-lasting change.
He’s got the same smart approach to one of the greatest challenges we face: climate change. He knows that there is no dreaded tradeoff between protecting the environment and creating jobs; in fact, halting climate change will require the creation of new jobs as we transition to sustainable energy sources and explore new climate-friendly industries. Hickenlooper’s plans are based in cutting-edge science and they’re in it for the long term: he’s committed to investing in R&D to improve carbon capture technologies, rebuilding our transportation infrastructure and public buildings to meet higher standards of energy efficiency, and creating a new program -- the Climate Corps -- which will offer scholarships and loan forgiveness in order to attract the brightest young minds to the challenge of stopping climate change. And he’ll ensure that low-income communities and communities of color who have been most affected by climate change have a place at the table. Hickenlooper’s already proved his commitment to the environment: while the Trump administration removed America from its position as a climate leader, John recommitted Colorado to the Paris Climate Accord. He sided with local leaders against plans to open over 200,000 acres for oil and gas development and expanded public transit. For Colorado, where climate change poses threat of catastrophic wildfires and extreme weather patterns, Hickenlooper’s vision is the only choice.
He’s got a plan for gun violence (universal background checks, reinstating the ban on assault rifles, imposing national limits on magazine size, among other things); a plan for improving the integrity of our elections (overturn Citizens United, end the revolving door between Congress and lobbying, increase donor transparency, and protect our elections from foreign intervention); a plan for saving small businesses from the ravages of COVID-19; and a plan to reform our broken immigration system by supporting DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants and ending the widespread human rights violations common to ICE.
We’re sick of watching people without vision -- with only ambition and a lust for power -- take office and endanger our democracy and our country. Help us at Flip the West elect someone with the vision for a more humane future.
Sierra Club of Colorado
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Everytown for Gun Safety
NARAL Pro-Choice America
End Citizens United
Voter Protection Project
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare