Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hospital Provider Fee getting results

On Feb. 10 (that's a week from today), the House Health and Environment Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would force Colorado two steps backward in health care access.  The bill aims to repeal 2009's hospital provider fee.  The Colorado Center on Law and Policy is now being joined by other strong voices in opposing this bill, as it would only hurt low-income patients and the affordable health care gains the state has made.

Simply put, the provider fee allows more people to receive health care.  That's because it reduces the financial loss for hospitals.  In a recent opinion piece from The Bell Policy Center, the Colorado Hospital Association reports, "operating losses for 13 hospitals in 2010 would have been nearly 40 percent greater," if the provider fee didn't exist.   Dede de Percin of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative calls the legislation that created the fee a "godsend for many children and parents struggling with the high cost of health care coverage."

Those sentiments reflect the work done by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which finds about 100,000 low-income Coloradans will lose health services if the effort to repeal the provider fee is successful.  Insured Coloradans could also see higher bills as costs get shifted to private insurance payers.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

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