In the Greeley Tribune, Linda Gorman writes:
Some Colorado legislators have shown impeccable timing in seeking to exacerbate the problem. Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, have introduced Senate Bill 016, which would force the closure of already existing freestanding emergency rooms unless they are owned by a hospital. SB 016 provides an exemption for emergency rooms more than 25 miles from a licensed hospital. Given the geographic structure of the Front Range corridor, however, the practical effect of the bill would be to give hospitals monopoly control of all emergency facilities. …
Colorado’s hospitals are big businesses. As the bill to close competitive emergency rooms shows, they would rather outlaw competitors than outproduce them. Colorado legislators need to remember that handing hospitals a monopoly over freestanding emergency rooms does not serve the best interests of their constituents. It will increase health care costs while reducing health care access, and increase the pain for ordinary citizens already suffering from Obamacare cost increases.
More: Gorman: Senate Bill 016 a boost to health care cronyism in Colorado | GreeleyTribune.com.
Would the Colorado Health Care Authority be part of the government? No matter how much its supporters claim that it would not be, and how Colorado HB 1273 defines it, it is. So long as it gets your tax dollars and sets rules forbidding you from contracting with a doctor, it’s operationally part of the state government. As a true authority, this Authority will consist of people appointed by politicians, and will have the power to define what legal insurance is, and is not.
It will be “the benefits administrator and payer for health care services defined by the authority.” The Authority would “create a health care system in Colorado that is the administrator and payer for health care services.” Not “an administrator.” The, one and only, administrator. This sounds rather authoritarian to me. If the authority is the “administrator and payer for health care services,” then is it not a crime for you to hire a physician on your own? What am I missing here? (No snarky answers, please.)
As the bill states: the Authority will be a “political subdivision of the state” that will generate revenue from “fund moneys appropriated by the general assembly and any federal moneys received…” Yet the bill also states that the Authority “shall not be an agency of state government, and that shall not be subject to administrative direction or control by any department, commission, board, bureau, or agency of the state.” I don’t see how this is important given how much power it would have over our medical choices.
Yet, in a letter published in the Denver Daily News in response to my article, Irene Aguilar, MD (President of “Health Care for All Colorado”) writes: