July 13, 2009
BILLS THAT HAVE ALREADY TAKEN EFFECT (BEFORE JULY 1, 2009)
HB 09-1188 (M. Carroll – Ryden) Skolnik Medical Revisions: 3/30/09
HB 09-1186, Expanding Mail Ballot Drop-Off: (Levy – M. Carroll): 4/3/09
SB 09-249 (Penry & Carroll, M – A. Kerr) Homeowner Rights. 5/14/09
HB 09-1336: Election Reform Commission Recommendations: (Todd & Murray – Williams & Carroll, M.) 5/15/09
HB 09-1321 (Levy – Carroll, M): Juvenile Placement in Adult Facilities: 6/1/09
SB 09-286 (Morse, Carroll, M – Levy, Merrifield): Justice Reinvestment Act – Sentencing Reform. 6/1/09
HB 09-1276 (Ferrandino – Carroll, M) Foreclosure Relief Act 2009: 6/2/09
SB09-87, Special District Accountability Act: (M. Carroll – Peniston):7/1/09
MY BILLS THAT TAKE EFFECT AFTER JULY 1, 2009
HB09-1149, Solar Option New Homes: (Merrifield – M. Carroll): 8/5/09
HB09-1155, Title Insurance Filings: (Weissmann – M. Carroll): 8/4/09
HB 09-1337: Changes in Election Deadlines , (Todd & Murray – Williams & Carroll, M.) 8/5/09
HB 09-1059, Clinical Trials Coverage Health Insurance (Primavera – M. Carroll): 8/5/09
HB 09-1224 (Schafer – Carroll M.) No Gender Discrim Rate Setting: 8/5/09
HB 09-1281: (Labuda – Carroll, M) Disability Representation on State Boards. 8/5/09
HB 09-1263 (Casso – Carroll, M) Time Deductions County Jail: 8/5/09
HB 09-1266 (McCann – Carroll, M) Driver's License Reform Criminal Corrections: 8/5/09
SB09-51, Renewable Energy Financing Act: (M. Carroll – Levy): 9/1/09
July 06, 2009
A few articles covered a few of the bills that take effect on July 1, 2009. If you are interested in any of the bills, in particular you can go to the Colorado General Assembly Web Site for more information. Below is a list of all bills with a July 1, 2009 effective dates:
HB 09-1010 Expand Film Production in Colorado
HB 09-1012 Incentives Wellness & Prevention Programs
HB 09-1036 Registration Fee for POST Board Cash Fund
HB 09-1081 Vehicular Homicide Statute of Limitation
HB 09-1109 Foreclosure Protection Delinquency Default
HB 09-1120 Public Servant Safety Crimes
HB 09-1132 Using Text Msg for Unlawful Acts
HB 09-1141 Update Consumer Credit Protections (portions)
HB 09-1157 Make BZP Schedule I Narcotic
HB 09-1163 Child Victim Crimes
HB 09-1185 Water Rights Applications / Documents
HB 09-1202 Mortuary Science Registration
HB 09-1218 State Capitol Lease Agreements
HB 09-1249 Consolidation of DOA Cash Funds
HB 09-1260 Designated Beneficiary Bill
HB 09-1293 Heatlhcare Affordability Act 2009 (portions)
HB 09-1326 Integrity of Citizen Initiated Petitions (portions)
HB 09-1330 DPHE Fees Feeding Operations Dischargers
HB 09-1338 State Insurance Law Comply Fed Law
HB 09-1339 Clinic Social Work Practice Defined
HB 09-1341 Licensed Psych Technicians
HB 09-1342 Eliminate Cigarette Sales Tax Exemption
HB 09-1357 Filing Campaign Finance Reports with SOS
HB 09-1363 Unemployment Compensation Enterprise
SB 09-25 Identification Document Security Fee
SB 09-26 Regulation of Athletic Trainers
SB 09-38 Clarification of Judicial Fees
SB 09-40 Regulation of Manufactured Homes
SB 09-47 Crime Victim Services Advisory Board
SB 09-66 PERA Merger State DC Plan (portions)
SB 09-68 Funding for Domestic Abuse Services
SB 09-76 Employment & Training Technology
SB 09-80 Precipitation Collection – Rainwater
SB 09-87 Special District Accountability Act 2009 (portions)
SB 09-91 Motor Vehicle Dealer Franchise Agreement
SB 09-93 Identity Theift (portions)
SB 09-106 Water Supply Reserve Account Extension
SB 09-109 Sunset Fire Serve Train Cert Advisory Board
SB 09-110 Civil Rights Sunset
SB 09-111 Notary Public Sunset
SB 09-115 Sunset Livestock Market Regulation
SB 09-116 Sunset Colorado Seed Act
SB 09-118 Sunset PACFA & animal advisory committee
SB 09-124 Extend Ag Energy Related Projects
SB 09-127 Sunset Ag Regulation
SB 09-128 Unlicensed Medical Sunset
SB 09-137 Property Lien Waiver Debt 3rd Party
SB 09-138 Sunset Certified Nurse Aides
SB 09-151 Sunset Licensing Livestock Slaughterers
SB 09-175 Group Special License Place Requirement
SB 09-228 Flex State Revenues
SB 09-239 Sunset State Board of Nursing
SB 09-241 DNA Upon Arrest (portions)
SB 09-243 Workers Compensation Benefits Payments
SB 09-247 Expand Fed UI Benefits Fed Stimulus
SB 09-251 Optometrists Fee for Ophthalmic Devices
SB 09-294 PUC Tax Cab Application Requirements
July 06, 2009
Some of you may have seen the PR piece printed in the Denver Post for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce ranking the legislators on their votes on bills. Normally I wouldn't be proud of a 46% rating, but I am. Let's look a little further into what the Denver Metro Chamber considered "good votes":
- They opposed pharmaceutical reform, transparency, ethics and re-sale of your rx information.
- They opposed a bill prohibiting insurance companies for paying bonuses to deny claims or cancel policies.
- They opposed a bill requiring if an insurance company is going to deny medical treatment that the reviewer be licensed and qualified.
- They opposed autism coverage in insurance policies.
- They opposed the homeowner protection act balancing the scales against faulty homebuilders.
- They opposed sick leave for workers (a public health problem with the H1N1 or Swine Flu virus).
- They opposed parental leave time for parents to attend their children's academic functions.
- They supported every corporate tax credit around.
- They supported tolling on existing roads.
- They opposed a measure putting a penalty on employer's who bounce their paychecks to their workers.
Are you serious? I am a small-business owner. I have managed 2 large companies. These are abysmal policy positions that work against the values and needs of most people in the state. I see opposition to health care reform, transparency, working families, best business practices and their consumers. I also know that other good business owners do NOT necessarily agree with the positions that are being lobbied in their name.
There is an alternate world where the business lobby works on actual economic development in the state and doesn't view all things good for workers as bad for business or all things good for consumers as bad for business. Most significantly, businesses are crying out for health care reform, yet it has been the Chambers of Commerce who have often been at the front of the line to oppose health care reform.
May 26, 2009
Below is the latest version of Hot Topics I have received from HCPF. I wanted to share this as it may be of interest to some of you.
Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
Prepared for the Colorado General Assembly
May 26, 2009
The Mission of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is to provide cost-effective, quality health care services to Coloradans.
Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
1570 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203
Colorado.gov/hcpf Legislative Highlights
One of the most historic pieces of health care legislation put forth in decades is the Colorado Health Care Affordability Act, signed by Governor Ritter on April 21st, 2009. This legislation will provide health coverage to more than 100,000 uninsured Coloradans and reduce uncompensated care and will help stem the rising cost of health insurance for businesses and families by addressing cost-shifting.
House Bill 1293, sponsored by Representatives Riesberg and Ferrandino and Senators Keller and Boyd, assesses a provider fee on hospitals and will generate an additional $600 million a year to provide coverage to the uninsured, and receive $600 million in federal matching funds. The combined $1.2 billion would cover more than 100,000 currently uninsured Coloradans through Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). The funds also would improve hospital reimbursement rates for service provided through Medicaid and the Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP).
Uninsured patients and Medicaid underpayment to hospitals are two of the primary causes of cost-shifting and rising healthcare costs for consumers, businesses and providers. By improving access to coverage and increasing hospital reimbursement rates, the Colorado Healthcare Affordability Act will address both of those drivers and help stem rising costs across the system. In turn, this will benefit businesses and families by reducing the cost shift and the rate at which health care costs are increasing.
The Colorado Hospital Association, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Governor's Office worked together for nearly a year to develop this legislation, which passed both the House and the Senate with more than 40 co-sponsors and bipartisan support.
Implementation of this legislation has already begun and will be a multi-year process. Staff are committed to working together to make this undertaking a success and we will be providing ongoing updates on our progress as we continue to roll out the process.
Our first bill introduced this session, Presumptive Eligibility for Long Term Care, House Bill 1103, sponsored by Representative Riesberg and Senator Newell permits the Department to seek federal authorization to allow a person in need of long term care to be presumptively eligible for Medicaid provided that the person declares all pertinent information relating to income and assets. Pending authorization and spending authority, the Department may implement a pilot program which would allow more rapid enrollment of persons who are Medicaid eligible.
The most important piece of this legislation is that it will allow more rapid enrollment for persons who are Medicaid-eligible to receive needed services while financial and supplemental security income verification is conducted. Currently during this time clients are not receiving services and there is a potential that the health status of these applicants worsens, with a resultant higher need and expenditure once enrolled. This bill has been signed by the governor.
Another bill from this session comes as a result of a Supreme Court decision in Ahlborn vs. Arkansas in which the court ruled unanimously to limit state Medicaid agencies' claims for reimbursement to the portion of any tort settlement attributable to medical expenses. The Department bill, Claims Against Third Parties or "Ahlborn", House Bill 1191 sponsored by Representative McCann and Senator Boyd, brings our state statute into compliance with the Supreme Court decision and acknowledges that the Department's lien only applies to amounts allowed by federal law. This bill has been signed by the governor.
The Colorado Cares Rx program was established in 2007 through the first bill signed by Governor Ritter. The program was created to provide a mechanism for uninsured, underinsured and seniors to purchase lower-cost generic and non-patented prescription drugs. The Department implemented Colorado Cares Rx on a one-year trial basis by offering a mail order discounted prescription drug program that is administered by Express Scripts. At the conclusion of the trial, Express Scripts decided that it was not interested in continuing the partnership with the Department.
Based on the current availability of multiple and varied discount prescription drug programs, the Department determined that Coloradans would be best-served by making a resource available that listed various ways in which prescriptions drugs can be obtained at a discount or for no cost as opposed to limiting Colorado Cares Rx to only one offering.
Modify Colorado Cares Rx, Senate Bill 132, Senator Boyd and Representative Kerr, is a bill created to address the discrepancies between the original Colorado Cares Rx bill compared to the current state of discount prescription drug programs while still upholding many of the merits of the original legislation, namely providing a mechanism for obtaining lower-cost prescription drugs. The Department will utilize the Colorado Cares Rx website to provide descriptions and contact information as to options available for obtaining lower-cost prescription drugs.
Our last bill of the session, House Bill 1353, Legal Immigrants' Eligibility for Public Medical Benefits, sponsored by Representative Miklosi and Senator Foster, allows the Department to provide benefits to lawfully residing pregnant women and children prior to the 5-year waiting period following their date of entry into the United States.
Provider Rate Cuts
In order to balance the budget for FY 2009-10 Medicaid expenditures had to be cut. The Department evaluated many options for reducing expenditures and ultimately settled on a solution that includes a two percent rate cut to Medicaid providers. The Department was given flexibility, however, in applying those rate cuts and will target utilization and volume reductions in order to avoid across-the-board reductions to providers. Such efforts are targeted at eliminating waste, duplication and unnecessary services which can be quantified, tracked and reported and can be used to off-set the across-the-board rate reductions that we must take. Items that may be considered include reducing emergency room utilization and decreasing hospital readmission rates. The Department is reaching out to all stakeholders to request that they partner with us in exploring opportunities to achieve reductions in Medicaid expenditures through focused and thoughtful initiatives. All of the recommendations received by Department staff will be evaluated for feasibility. After three to six months of tracking expenditure and utilization patterns for changes that were implemented, the Department will measure the efforts in order to determine if budget targets are being met. If expenditures exceed targets, the Department will be forced to implement larger rate reductions. You and your constituents can assist us in reaching our targets by sending ideas to Margaret Mohan with Acute Care Benefits Margaret.email@example.com by June 11, 2009. Ideas submitted after this date will be evaluated for implementation at a later time.
Colorado Medicaid Caseload Increases
The Department saw another month with a caseload increase that is among the largest ever seen in the State. Total Medicaid caseload increased by over 9,000 in the month of April to 457,699 and caseload has now increased by an average of nearly 5,000 per month in FY 2008-2009. Medicaid kids increased by over 6,600 in April, a nearly 3,300 per month increase for a total of just under 250,000. CHP+ kids decreased by 522 in April 2009 to 63,039. CHP+ caseload has increased by an average of 287 per month in FY 2008-09, and is now up 2,873 for the FY from July 1, 2008.
For more information on these or other topics, please contact Nicole Storm, Legislative Analyst, at 303-866-3180 or Nicole.Storm@state.co.us
May 07, 2009
JOB CREATION, RENEWABLE ENERGY
1) SB 09-51, Renewable Energy Financing Act: (M. Carroll – Levy): This bill facilitates several different financing options (3rd party lease, bank, mortgage, state treasury backed investments and loans) for residential and business solar, geothermal, wind or energy efficiency upgrades in payment plans. This measure will bring investment capitol to Colorado, make alternative energy upgrades more affordable for hundreds of thousands of people and create new jobs. SIGNED 04.22.09.
2) HB 09-1149, Solar Option New Homes: (Merrifield – M. Carroll): This bill creates a standard offer of solar-ready on construction of new homes. It is usually cheaper to build it in at the time of constructing a new home, rather than retrofitting solar. As homes comes with many options, this would be one more to facilitate renewable energy, jobs, and energy independence. PENDING action by Governor.
ELECTION REFORM, VOTER RIGHTS
3) HB 09-1186, Expanding Mail Ballot Drop-Off: (Levy – M. Carroll): This bill enables voters to drop off their mail ballots at any precinct voting location. Currently there are a small number of approved drop off locations and many voters who appeared at polling locations were turned away as unable to accept mail ballots. Passed House 37-28. Passed Senate State Affairs. Passed Senate 3rd Reading 21:14. SIGNED by Governor 04.03.09.
HOMEOWNER / PROPERTY RIGHTS
4) SB 09-249 (Penry & Carroll, M – A. Kerr) Homeowner Rights. Expanding homeowner rights under SB 100. Several rights afforded under SB 100 were inadvertently codified in a way to raise ambiguity as to whether or not they applied to small HOAs. This clarifies that the public policy rights apply to all homeowners regardless of size of HOA. PENDING action by Governor.
5) SB 09-87, Special District Accountability Act: (M. Carroll – Peniston): This bill would give notice to homeowners of the special districts they live in, and annual actual notice to eligible electors about when / where special district elections are held, who represents them and when / where regularly scheduled meetings are held. PENDING Action by Governor.
HEALTH CARE, PATIENTS RIGHTS
6) HB 09-1059, Clinical Trials Coverage Health Insurance (Primavera – M. Carroll): This bill puts basic protections in place for patients during clinical trials and ensures continuity of health insurance coverage during such trials to protect patient safety and avoid disincentives to participate in important research. SIGNED by Governor 05.02.09.
7) HB 09-1188 (M. Carroll – Ryden) Skolnik Medical Revisions: I wrote original Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act in 1997 to get patients more information about their doctor's history when making health care decisions, including safety record, complaint, grievance, malpractice history along with board certifications and special qualifications and training. 2009 is the year physicians must renew their licenses and this bill makes some important but technical changes to help that process this year. SIGNED by Governor 03.30.09.
HB 09-1224 (Schafer – Carroll M.) No Gender Discrim Rate Setting: This bill finally would prohibit gender discrimination in insurance rate setting and premiums. While women still earn only 77% on the dollar and can often be the sole care-taker of children, they are charged more than their male counter-parts in the pricing of insurance. This is a economic justice and civil rights issue bringing Colorado on board with the many states that have already fixed this. *The House amended this bill into a study.* Passed House 3rd Reading 49-16. Senate State Affairs Amended back from Study to Actual Prohibition. Senate Floor Bill was Amended back to a Study and Passed. PENDING Action by Governor.
9) SB 09-166 (M. Carroll – Pace) Pharmaceutical Ethics Act – The single largest cost driver behind the increasing cost of health care and premiums is the drug companies. Over 2/3 of the cost of drugs come from gifts, advertising and marketing (and not the actual research or manufacturing of the drug). This bill creates a pharmaceutical gift ban (except samples, education), captures annual disclosure of costs, prohibits the invasion / sales of your prescription history and establishes minimum conflict of interest protections in Colorado healthcare. The bill increased transparency, reduce costs, protect patient privacy and increase patient safety in Colorado. DEFEATED.
10) SB 09-61, Qualifications for doctors reviewing insurance claims: (M. Carroll – Primavera): This requires that doctors reviewing insurance claims or decisions to approve or deny claims be licensed to practice medicine in the state of Colorado and that the reviewing provider be of a same or similar specialty as the treating physician whom they are reviewing. DEFEATED.
11) SB 09-103, Insurance Bad Faith: (M. Carroll – Pommer): This bill prohibits as an "unfair claim practice" insurance companies from offering bonuses, pay raises or promotions for the denial of claims or the cancellation of policies. Consumers experience this in the form of denied care, delayed payment of medical bills or cancellation of their policies. DEFEATED.
CONSUMER PROTECTION, PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY
12) HB 09-1155, Title Insurance Filings: (Weissmann – M. Carroll): Title insurance companies only pay about 10% of your premiums on actual claims, raising real questions about the rating structure. Currently their rate filings aren't even filed at the Division of Insurance to allow meaningful review. This bill requires public filings so they are available for review and to the public. Governor SIGNED into law 03.19.09.
13) HB 09-1276 (Ferrandino – Carroll, M) Foreclosure Relief Act 2009: This bill provides a 90 day window for qualified borrowers to renegotiate loan conditions to keep families in their houses and prevent banks from losing money on foreclosure of homes. There is no bailout component to this bill. PENDING Action by Governor.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
14) HB 09-1263 (Casso – Carroll, M) Time Deductions County Jail: This bill reallocates credit for time served in county jail to better manage space and resources for local governments and public safety and was recommended by the Commission on Sentencing Reform. SIGNED by Governor 04.03.09.
15) HB 09-1266 (McCann – Carroll, M) Driver's License Reform Criminal Corrections: This bill makes it so that the loss of driver's licenses for a penalty can be only if the offense was tied to driving. PENDING action by Governor.
16) HB 09-1274 (Weissmann – Carroll, M): Reallocate Death Penalty Funding: This bill reallocates death penalty and capital crimes funding to create a state cold crimes unit to fund and focus on solving unsolved homicides in the State of Colorado. Passed House 33:32. Defeated in Senate 17:18. DEFEATED.
17) HB 09-1321 (Levy – Carroll, M): Juvenile Placement in Adult Facilities: This protects juveniles who are not being charged as an adult from people housed in an adult population (i.e. recent suicide of juvenile in adult population). PENDING Action By Governor.
18) SB 09-286 (Morse, Carroll, M – Levy, Merrifield): Justice Reinvestment Act – Sentencing Reform. Amended to refer parameters, guidelines and deadlines to Colorado Criminal & Juvenile Justice Commission. PENDING Action by Governor.
19) SB 09-288 (Morse, Carroll, M – Levy, Merrifield): Bed Space Allocation. Adjusts sentencing to match available bed space in Colorado to better prioritize limited funds and budget within our available resources. DEFEATED.
20) HB 09-1351 (Pommer – Carroll, M): Increased Earned Time Allowance. This bill increases earned time allowance from 10 days to 12 and allows up to 60 days credit on end of sentence for certain non-violent offenses where no behavioral infractions in DOC at discretion of DOC. PENDING Action by Governor.
CIVIL RIGHTS – DISABILITY
21) HB 09-1281: (Labuda – Carroll, M) Disability Representation on State Boards. This bill provides for representation from the disability community on all boards that impact people with disabilities. Also known as the "Nothing About Us, Without Us" bill. Passed House 60:4:(1 excused). PENDING Action by Governor.
AUTO INSURANCE, CONSUMER RIGHTS
22) HB 09-1226 (McGihon – Carroll, M.) No Fault Car Insurance: This measure would restore Colorado to a No-Fault system rather than the current "tort" system, making it easier for people injured in car accidents to get access to medical care without having to go to Court and easier for 1st responders and medicals providers to get paid for the care they provide. DEFEATED.
WORKERS' RIGHTS, HEALTH CARE
23) HB 1210 (McGihon – Carroll, M.) Sick Leave for Workers: This bill gives limited paid sick to workers based on the size of the employer to address preventive health needs and reduce sickness and contagion in the workplace and in public without fear of termination or retaliation. DEFEATED.
24) HB 09-1348 (Weissmann – Carroll, M.) Constituent Confidentiality. This bill closes a loophole in protecting the confidentiality of constituent communications and work product in drafting with the staff of the legislator. PENDING Action by Governor.
25) HCR 09-1005 (May – Carroll, M) Non-Partisan Re-Districting. This measure would have had the non-partisan independent redistricting commission extend to the drawing of Congressional Districts to avoid gerrymandering in the process. DEFEATED.
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