Colorado GOP bill clinging to life, Republicans don't seem to care

Senate Bill Three was introduced, but hasn't really budged since passing it's first test on Feb. 7.

A health care issue targeted by Republicans is barely on life support at the State Capitol.

Republicans appear to not even want to perform CPR on their own bill.

Senate Bill Three was one of six bills highlighted in the opening day speech by Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Cañon City).

It would repeal the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange.

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"It is time for us to shed some of the dead weight of failed government policy. Senator (Jim) Smallwood (R-Parker) will introduce Senate Bill Three, which will repeal the Colorado Healthcare Exchange. This is long overdue," Grantham said on Jan. 11.

The bill had its first committee hearing on Feb. 7, when Smallwood calmed fears about what the bill does not do.

"Senate Bill Three does not repeal the Affordable Care Act. It does not cancel anyone's insurance policies. It does not change anyone's insurance policies, if they've already purchased them for this year. It does not end federal subsidies," Smallwood said. 

He said, simply, it would shut down the state's health benefits exchange website and push consumers to the website maintained by the federal government.

Since then, the bill has had poor health results.

It wasn't heard in its second committee until April 6.

Then it was back to the Senate floor for second reading. It would have to pass second and third reading to make it to the House and go through the same process.

Thing is, the bill hasn't moved.

Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Chris Holbert (R-Parker), has asked for the bill to be delayed for the last four weeks.

"Mr. Chairman, I move that we lay over Senate Bill Three until Monday, April 17."

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I move to lay over Senate Bill Three until Monday, April 24."

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I move that we lay over Senate Bill Three until Monday, May 1."

"Why thank you, Mr. Chairman, I move that we lay over Senate Bill Three until Monday, May 8."

The last day of the legislature is Wednesday, May 10.

The bill to repeal the state's health benefit exchange is dead. It's not unusual for a Republican bill to die at the hands of Democrats, but this one is simply being abandoned. We wanted to ask the Senate leadership or Smallwood why this priority has gone unprioritized, but no one wanted to talk.

Sources around the Capitol have suggested this bill essentially died when Republicans in Washington, D.C. could not agree on a way to repeal Obamacare.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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