Feb 17, 2017

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Legislative Update: Feb. 17, 2017

by | Feb 17, 2017

Good news, bad news
Three proposals intended to ensure that Medicaid clients do not lose access to health care were approved by legislative committees this week.

The first bill in the package, HB 1126 would ensure that an administrative law judge reviews the sufficiency of Medicaid termination notices at the beginning of an appeal hearing. The second bill in the package, HB 1143 would direct the state to audit communications with Medicaid clients for legal sufficiency, clarity and accuracy. Both bills were approved by the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee with near-unanimous support on Monday.

The third bill in the package, SB 121, requires the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to engage in a process to improve Medicaid client communications – including client letters and notices – that addresses denial, reduction, suspension, or termination of Medicaid benefits. The measure was unanimously approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday.

All three bills were recommended and developed by CCLP and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition after an interim legislative committee held three hearings about Medicaid correspondence last summer. CCLP will continue to strongly support these measures as they advance throughout session.

Two other bills that CCLP strongly supported did not fare as well this week: SB 118, developed by Colorado Skills2Compete and CCLP, would have made it easier for students to make wise investments by requiring private occupational schools to provide info about education outcomes. Another bill, SB 98, would have allowed residents to have an opportunity to purchase manufactured housing communities, while giving landowners tax incentives for entering into such deals. That bill offered a viable, non-intrusive solution to Colorado’s affordable housing problem. Unfortunately, both measures were killed by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, 3-2 on Monday.

Regardless of these setbacks, CCLP will continue its efforts to ensure transparency among private occupational schools and to give Coloradans more affordable-housing options.

Bill to Watch: HB 1002
In 2014, CCLP championed a successful bill to introduce a child-care tax credit for workers earning less than $25,000 a year. The bill established an alternative calculation method for those who did not qualify for child-care tax credits because they earned too little to owe federal income tax.

Since the passage of the bill, over 32,000 families have claimed the credit — providing a total of $4.9 million to help defray the cost of child care for low-income working parents. With the current law set to expire on Jan. 1, 2018, House Bill 1002, sponsored by Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, would expand this important tax credit for three more income tax years.

HB 1002 is scheduled to be heard by the House Finance Committee on Monday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. As the lead organization behind HB 1002, CCLP strongly supports the legislation. Learn more about HB 1002 in this CCLP fact sheet.

– By Bob Mook

Recent articles

CCLP Statement on Health and Hospital Corporation v. Talevski

Last term, we watched as the Supreme Court issued rulings that had wide sweeping consequences for individuals across the country. The Court tipped its hat to the second amendment by expanding the ability to carry guns in public while simultaneously decimating the...

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Some immigrants who apply for a green card or a visa to enter the United States must pass what’s called a “public charge” test. The test is designed to evaluate whether the person will primarily depend on the government for support in the future, based on factors such...