Colorado’s 2013 legislative session is under way! This session will prove to be particularly exciting one for health care. With the changes in the make up of the General Assembly, the anticipated New Medicaid program and implementation of Obamacare, Colorado’s Assembly will have many health care issues to deal with this year. Stay tuned to CCHI (or follow us on Twitter @cchipolicy) for our coverage of the legislature on health bills all session.

CCHI and its members met the first week of session to take positions on the first health care bills introduced this session. Here is where CCHI stands.

 

Senate Bill 13-008: Elimination of the Waiting Period for Children’s Eligibility under the Children’s Basic Health Plan

CCHI Position: Support

Under current law, children are only eligible for children’s basic health plan benefits if they have not been on a comparable health plan with an employer paying at least 50% of the cost for at least 3 months. This creates a problem for families who would have to violate the individual mandate to qualify for the children’s basic health plan. Senate bill 13-008 eliminates this waiting period so that children will not have to wait to gain access to coverage. CCHI supports this common sense solution to ensure that children have access to coverage.

 

Senate Bill 13-006: No reduction in K-12 Education to Expand Medicaid

CCHI Position: Oppose

This bill prohibits the General Assembly from funding the implementation of Obamacare if the spending would decrease funding for Colorado’s public or charter schools. CCHI opposes this bill because it unnecessarily frames health and education spending as adversaries instead of partner programs for a strong Colorado. Our state’s economic stability depends on supporting working Coloradans and providing opportunities for our children. Passing restrictive legislation like this would work against moving Colorado forward.

 

Senate Bill 13-011: Authorization of Civil Unions

CCHI Position: Support

CCHI continues to support the authorization of civil unions for unmarried adults regardless of gender. Many same sex couples do not have the same access to health care coverage as married couples. SB 011 would allow dependent coverage under health insurance policies for plans starting January 1, 2014. The bill also applies laws that give medical decisions to spouses in case of emergency to civil unions. Civil unions are a common sense approach to ensuring all Coloradans have barrier free access to health care coverage.
 

House Bill 13-1015: Disclosure of Mental Health Claim by Small Group Health Plans in the All Payer Claims Database

CCHI Position: Support

The All Payer Claims Database (APCD) is a secure database that includes claims data from commercial health plans, Medicare and Medicaid. Currently the law establishing the APCD prohibits small group health plans from disclosing mental health information without the consent of the insured person. Repealing this provision would fill in a major gap in health cost information that is otherwise available in Colorado. This information will give a better picture of the mental health network in Colorado.
 

Senate Bill 13-026: Update Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act

CCHI Position: Support

Currently, the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act of 2010 requires most regulated health care providers who are applying for or renewing a license to disclose specified information for inclusion in a publicly available database. This bill adds athletic trainers, massage therapists, certified nurse aides, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, psychiatric technicians and surgical assistants. CCHI supported the Michael Skolnik Act when it first passed and continues to support access to more information about Colorado’s health system.

There are important conversations going on in the legislature this year about your access to care. Your voice matters, because decisions about your health care are too important to be left solely to legislators.  Make your voice heard by sharing your health care story with us at http://www.cohealthinitiative.org/tell-us-your-story.
 

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