Colorado lawmakers look to money originally earmarked for affordable housing to fund their No. 1 health care priority |

Colorado lawmakers look to money originally earmarked for affordable housing to fund their No. 1 health care priority

John Ingold / The Colorado Sun
Opening day of the second session of the 71st General Assembly in the Senate at the Colorado State Capitol Jan. 10, 2018 in Denver.
Joe Amon | The Denver Post

Colorado lawmakers wrestled their top health care priority back from the brink Thursday but had to cut into a potential funding source that another bill has earmarked for affordable housing.

It was just the latest near-death experience for a bill to create a reinsurance program, which would help health insurers pay some of their highest-cost claims, resulting in lower premiums. Multiple times since taking office, Gov. Jared Polis and other lawmakers have touted a reinsurance program as something that will bring quick relief to consumers.

“We might view this bill as being in trouble, almost on life support,” said Sen. Bob Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale who is a sponsor of the bill. “But it is alive.”

That doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Though the bill passed out of the Senate health committee on a 4-1, bipartisan vote, it will likely continue to face skepticism, especially given how many major transformations it has undergone with so little time left to vet them.

“I promised not to use the term Dumpster fire,” said Sen. Jim Smallwood, a Parker Republican who was the lone no vote in committee. “But most people can’t make heads or tails of these numbers, so I would urge you to consider something different.”

Read the full story via The Colorado Sun.

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