Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Play

Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

Play

Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

Play

The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Coloradans' Health-Care Advances Will Need a Follow-Up

Play

Tuesday, May 7, 2019   

DENVER — Colorado health-care advocates celebrated wins after the close of the 2019 legislative session, and now are working to ensure programs are implemented. Bills headed to Gov. Jared Polis' desk include the addition of a public insurance option, a measure allowing the state to buy medicine from Canada, and the creation of a reinsurance program designed to lower premiums.

The passage of House Bill 1174 should result in an end to surprise out-of-network medical bills. Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said bipartisan support for these protections has grown over the past several sessions.

"I think it's reached a threshold now with so many consumers being hit by these surprise bills, and so many legislators hearing about it - and some of them being hit by those bills themselves - that it really pushed this issue to the forefront,” Fox said.

HB 1174 protects people with state-regulated health plans. Fox said the measure also should act as a strong deterrent, but added the issue needs to be resolved federally to protect all consumers.

Some health measures did not advance. A proposal to increase drug-price transparency died over industry concerns about proprietary information. And a move to boost tobacco taxes to prevent addiction and fund education and health reinsurance was criticized as an unnecessary tax increase.

Fox noted while there were disagreements on some policies and on how others should be implemented, he saw bipartisan agreement on the need to address the underlying causes of rising health costs.

"There was less contention this session on health care in general,” he said. “There was a very high level of bipartisan agreement that health care was something they wanted to work on and could find some agreement."

Some measures need federal approval before moving forward, including the addition of a public health insurance option under the Affordable Care Act. Fox argued with premiums increasing every year, especially in western and rural areas with just one or two carriers, there aren't enough options for Coloradans to choose the health care they want.

"By creating a public option at the state level, we can sort of spur that innovation and competition and try to make the private insurance market a little bit more robust and competitive,” Fox said.

Disclosure: Colorado Consumer Health Initiative contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Environment

Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …


Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Environment

With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …

Garrett Betts inspects his 275-gallon tank and trailer setup. Before Garrett built the trailer, he was hauling water with the tank in the bed of his truck.(Photo by Zachary Shephard)

Environment

By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …

Social Issues

Texas' GOP-dominated legislature is considering bills to flip the script on powers traditionally afforded home-rule cities, instead forcing them to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021