Promote Healthy People & Communities
Colorado counties are the front door to the state’s health system, investing significant limited local resources in community health systems. Colorado counties help provide financial support to local hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, behavioral health authorities and public health departments.
Medicaid provides important and critical coverage for Coloradans statewide. In rural areas it is a key factor in keeping rural health care providers afloat, preserving resident’s ability to maintain critical access to hospitals and primary care providers. Increased health care coverage through subsidies and Medicaid directly supports jobs and the economy, especially in rural communities. In addition health care jobs associated with Medicaid offer skilled, livable-wage jobs to hundreds of rural Coloradoans.
POLICY PRIORITY: Health Care Stability
CCAT urges the following protections for Colorado communities:
For Rural Colorado
- Protect communities from a pendulum swing. The health care economies in rural communities are uniquely unable to absorb rapid changes to the health care landscape, due to their ongoing challenges in obtaining health care providers and already precarious budgets.
- Protect local authority and autonomy. A one-size-fits-all approach to health care reform will exacerbate inefficiencies and inequities, placing communities that already struggle to find affordable, quality care at a greater disadvantage.
- Protect and support continued Federal investments. Rural residents are disproportionately reliant on federal programs and subsidies to help them maintain access to quality health care. Rural health providers, including physicians and hospitals, typically operate on slim budgets and are not able to absorb additional reductions.
For Urban/Suburban Colorado
- Reject approaches that simply shift cost onto state and local governments 93.3% of Coloradans currently have insurance, in part due to the expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If federal funding is taken away from states, an estimated $14 billion shortfall will be passed on to state and local governments. It is essential to ensure a sufficient, sustained federal share of funding as state and local governments simply do not have the capacity to absorb a proportionately larger share of the program cost. Doing so would cause devastating impacts on other areas of budget such as education and transportation.
- Address rigid fiscal policies embedded in our state constitution, including TABOR, Amendment 23 and Gallagher, which limit the flexibility and budgeting tools available to state policymakers. While federal cost shifting to state and local governments is an issue across the country it is a particular challenge in Colorado because of these policies.
- Reject approaches that create an uneven playing field in the health care market. Instability increases costs. Any transition to a new system must provide adequate time for carriers to implement changes in a way that minimizes impact to their business model and consumers.