Category: Legislation - Part 17

Medicare official doubts health care law savings

Two of the central promises of President Barack Obamas health care overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicares independent economic expert told Congress on Wednesday.The landmark legislation probably wont hold costs down, and it wont let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. Read the Associated Press story.

New health exchanges a huge challenge for states

Governors have deep differences over national health-care reform, but when it comes to insurance exchangesa centerpiece of the sprawling new federal law intended to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to shop for comparable coveragenearly every state is moving ahead with implementation. They are working under crushing deadlines, often with staffs thinned by layoffs. Read the report from Stateline.

Brain abnormality from childhood keeps 16-year-old uninsured

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Broomfield At age 3, Maria Serranos family learned that she had a dangerous growth of blood vessels in her brain. She then endured 23 procedures to shrink the growth a surgery every six weeks. Now 16, Maria is doing well and made the National Honor Society at her high school this year. She has some trouble with reading and writing, but the rare arteriovenous malformation that she was born with has not caused serious subsequent health challenges. Even though she doesnt have problems, we worry any time she gets the sniffles, said Marias father, Toby Serrano. Thats because…

Lawmakers target $50 million from hospital fees to fill budget gap

By Katie McCrimmon Colorado lawmakers are targeting $50 million from the hospital provider fee to fund Medicaid spikes as the state faces a billion-dollar budget shortfall this year. The themes of this years legislative session will likely be creative budget dances like the dip into the provider fee, and cuts, cuts and more cuts. Lawmakers must balance the budget and are considering slashing everything from the popular school breakfast program for poor children to pet programs for veterans, the unemployed and other interest groups. During a Joint Budget Committee briefing with both the Senate and House health committees last week, Rep. Cheri Gerou,…

New law would require child-only health plans

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Major national health insurance carriers that have dropped child-only health plans in Colorado and throughout the country may be forced back into the childrens market if they wish to continue selling lucrative individual health insurance policies in Colorado. Childrens advocates, industry representatives and state officials have been meeting with lawmakers to draft a new law that likely will move forward in the coming weeks in the Colorado legislature. The measure has not been introduced yet. Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton , will be sponsoring the measure in the Senate while Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver and Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood , chairman of the House Health and Environment Committee,will co-sponsor…

Opinion: Colorado’s Health Care “Affordability Act” should be repealed

By Dr. Linda Gorman This years budget hearing documents show that officials at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing rate a piece of legislation, the 2009 Colorado Health Care Affordability Act, as their most effective program. Official response to HB11-1025, a bill introduced to repeal the tax levied by the act, will make it clear whether state officials seek to serve Colorado citizens or special interests seeking to prey upon them. If truth in advertising applied to legislation, the acts title would have landed someone in jail. In its first year, it raised health care costs by levying $340.9 million…

Going digital may not improve U.S. patient care

Electronic health records touted by the White House as a key way to improve health care in the United States may actually do little to improve quality, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Read the report from Reuters.

Taking the copay out of staying healthy

There are many reasons why patients may not be getting preventive services. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health reform law passed this year, is attempting to remedy at least one of them: cost. Read the Los Angeles Times story.

Republicans cheer ruling challenging health law

The Wall Street Journal reports that Republicans are cheering Mondays ruling on the Affordable Care Act. Afederal judge in Virginia declared a central plank of thehealth care law requiring most Americans to carry insurance unconstitutional.