DENVER - Gov. John Hickenlooper says a proposal in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act threatens to reverse progress to improve health care in Colorado.
He estimates the Senate bill would cut $1.5 billion per year from the state’s Medicaid budget and threaten health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of working Coloradans, especially in rural communities, the elderly and people with disabilities.
"It would simultaneously provide billions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations, more than $230 billion dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals,” Gov. Hickenlooper said in a press conference on Monday. “And when I talk to them, most of them really are not asking or seeking those tax cuts."
Balance of Power: Sparring on healthcare
The Governor says coming up with an extra $1.5 billion per year in new money for the people who would lose coverage would be almost impossible due Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR.
He says the Senate bill would also make individual private health insurance less affordable and make the entire health care system more unstable.
Gov. Hickenlooper set a goal in 2013 to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation, calling the set of initiatives “The State of Health: Colorado’s Commitment to become the Healthiest State.”
Since launching, Gov. Hickenlooper says the state has met 11 of the 15 goals, including expanding public and private health insurance coverage and closing gaps in access to primary care and other health services.
Gov. Hickenlooper says the Senate bill would take us backward.
He is asking the Senate to work with a bipartisan group of Governors to focus on problems they all agree need fixing.
© 2017 KUSA-TV