Kevin Downey, Colorado Hospital Association
CHA Statement on Colorado Medicaid Expansion
Date Jan. 3, 2013
About the Colorado Hospital Association
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. (Jan. 3, 2013) — Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) President and Chief Executive Officer Steven J. Summer made the following statement today in regards to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
“CHA commends Gov. Hickenlooper for his decision to support Medicaid expansion under the provisions of the ACA. Strengthening and expanding Medicaid will lead to improved physical and economic health for all of Colorado.
“More than 161,000 Coloradans will now be eligible for health care coverage through Medicaid. That means thousands of Colorado families will have access to the primary and preventative care, early diagnoses and treatment they need in order to live healthier and higher quality lives.
“In Colorado, we know that expanding coverage reduces uncompensated care. In 2009, hospitals partnered with the business community, advocacy organizations, provider groups and the state to pass the Medicaid provider fee, which has already enabled more than 66,000 uninsured Coloradans to gain access to care.
“Since its inception, uncompensated care costs related to Medicaid and CICP programs have decreased by $214 million. Even with that reduction, hospitals still provide more than a billion dollars of uncompensated care annually. The provider fee has demonstrated that expanding coverage for the uninsured and increasing Medicaid provider payments leads to a reduction in the cost of uncompensated care being shifted to insured patients and the business community.
“CHA embraces the opportunity to work in partnership with the Governor, his administration, lawmakers and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to identify opportunities within the state’s existing resources—including the provider fee—to fund the Medicaid expansion. Colorado hospitals take great pride in providing quality care for those who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. Expanding Medicaid will strengthen our ability and commitment to continue to care for patients in every corner of this state.”
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) represents 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado. CHA partners with its members to work towards health reform and performance improvement, and provides advocacy and representation at the state and federal level. Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to providing coverage and access to safe, high-quality and affordable health care. In addition, Colorado hospitals have a tremendous impact on the state’s economic stability and growth, contributing to nearly every community across the state with 72,000 employees statewide.