Cara Welch, Colorado Hospital Association
CHA Statement on the Hospital Provider Fee Legislation
Date March 27, 2017
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) issued this statement about the proposed legislation to move the Hospital Provider Fee to a separate fund:
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) strongly supports Senate Bill 17-267, Concerning the Sustainability of Rural Colorado, sponsored by Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) and Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) and Reps. KC Becker (D-Boulder) and Jon Becker (R-Fort Morgan). The Association thanks these legislators for their commitment to a bipartisan solution to a budget crisis that is looming for Colorado’s health care system.
Last year, the state budget was balanced on the backs of Colorado patients – through cuts to the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF). The state looked to do that again this year with initially a cut of $195 million that ultimately grew to $264 million in the introduced version of the 2017-18 budget bill, Senate Bill 17-254. With the federal match included, that means more than half a billion dollars will be cut from Colorado hospitals. Cuts this deep don’t mean just cutting services or eliminating positions for a few employees – it will mean hospitals closing in Colorado, something that has not happened since the early 1990s.
Instead of forcing deep cuts to health care, Senate Bill 17-267 will move the HPF to a separate fund, as authorized by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, that will restore funding to Colorado hospitals. These hospitals – especially those in rural Colorado – are the lifeblood of Colorado communities. They provide health care, high-paying jobs, community programs and education, civic partnerships and economic benefit. There has a been a growing groundswell of support across Colorado for this legislative action.
Without this legislation – and with a budget cut of more than $500 million – many Colorado hospitals will immediately be forced to decide if they can keep their doors open, what services they must eliminate and how many employees will lose their jobs. This is unacceptable and will be truly devastating to our state.
We urge legislators to pass Senate Bill 17-267 to support rural Colorado and the future of our state’s health care system.
About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado. Learn more at www.cha.com.
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