I thought I was hearing things when I heard on the radio this morning that my neighbor and state senator Dr. Irene Aguilar had managed to get passed out of committee a bill to make sure everyone in Colorado is covered for health care - not just those covered with the new exchanges and "Obamacare" but everyone in the state. Please see over the cheese doodle the information that made my hopes get up and dance.
Dr. Irene Aguilar promised when she ran for Senate (her first race, as she had been appointed to fill the vacancy when Senator Chris Romer retired to run for Denver mayor) that she'd work to introduce legislation for ensuring all Coloradoans could receive health care when they need it. Her bill, Senate Bill SCR13-002, was introduced into the Senate on March 27th and was passed out of Committee yesterday on April 4th. The history page shows this for the bill:
Summarized History for Bill Number SCR13-002Some things from the initial section of the bill include phrases that make me happy:
(The date the bill passed to the committee of the whole reflects the date the bill passed out of committee.)
03/27/2013 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Health & Human Services
04/04/2013 Senate Committee on Health & Human Services Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
THE CREATION OF A COLORADO HEALTH CARE COOPERATIVE TO ENSURE ACCESS TO A STATEWIDE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO ALL PERSONS WHOSE DOMICILE IS COLORADO FOR ALL HEALTH-RELATED ISSUESand
ASSESSING A SIX PERCENT PAYROLL PREMIUM FROM EMPLOYERS, A THREE PERCENT PAYROLL PREMIUM FROM EMPLOYEES, COMPARABLE EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE PREMIUMS FROM SELF-EMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS, AND A NINE PERCENT PREMIUM ON OTHER SPECIFIED INCOMEThis would need to pass a referendum process since taxes would be used to pay for this, and right now I'm sure this is far from a done - deal. This bill specifically allows for private insurance to continue to be offered in the state, people would be free to choose their own physician and it would be secondary for payment should a person have a primary insurance plan of their own. There's nothing in the Denver Post about this and it's hard to find anything elsewhere on it, but I did a little happy dance in the car.
All this, and you can come meet Senator Doctor Irene Aguilar (the only practicing physician in the Colorado legislature) at our Kossack Meetup tomorrow at my house! Ask her in person about this bill's chances, what it might mean and all the legislative ins and outs of getting something like this (or the gun legislation, budget or other bills being debated) through the process. Maybe I'm a little too excited at the prospect of full health care for Colorado, but we're all about the hopey-change thing, aren't we?
My state Representative Jeanne Labuda has said she would also try and stop by for a little bit, but I think she said she has a daughter's wedding tomorrow, so I don't really expect her. Still, we might get a two-fer. If you haven't already, RSVP and I'll send you the address and directions. We get underway at 2PM.