DISCOURAGING END TAINTS OTHERWISE MEASURED LEGISLATIVE SESSION
May 10, 2012
Terry Scanlon, 303-573-5669 ext. 311
The Colorado Center on Law and Policy, while fundamentally disappointed in the political gamesmanship that closed the 2012 regular legislative session, still regards the session as one with more advances for policies supporting the health, economic security and wellbeing of low-income Coloradans than might have been expected in this election year. Now, we await the Governor’s anticipated call to a special session during which some bills described below as having died on the calendar may be resurrected.
Probably our biggest pro-active victory was in health care. We were instrumental in the passage of SB12-134, the Hospital Payment Assistance Program (Sen. Aguilar/Rep. Acree). It will help uninsured Coloradans responsibly pay hospital bills and avoid bankruptcy by requiring transparency in and dissemination of hospital discount policies, constraining hospital debt collection practices and limiting hospitals to charging those uninsured patients below 250% of the federal poverty level no more than the lowest negotiated price.
We devoted much of our work this session to defense – successfully fending off efforts to reduce state revenues, to cut back current public health insurance programs and health reform efforts, or to burden those most needy Coloradans who participate in our state’s already lean safety net programs or are otherwise struggling to achieve economic self-sufficiency. We did not win them all, but we stood our ground and we helped direct debate toward the notion that, for better or worse, we are all in this together.
The session’s developments as seen by the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute can be found here.
Perspective on the 2012 regular session from the CCLP Health Program is here.
The details of the session from the vantage of our Family Economic Security Program are here.