Feb 19, 2016

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Legislative Update: Feb. 19, 2016

by | Feb 19, 2016

Support drug-cost transparency
High prescription drug prices are indisputably one of the drivers of health care costs — raising health insurance premiums and contributing to increasing out-of-pocket costs for consumers. While the pharmaceutical industry points to the cost of research and development in setting their prices, studies show other factors come to play. As far back as 2000, Families USA reported that drug companies spent more than twice as much on marketing, advertising and administration that they did on R&D.

Though factors such as hospital services account for a larger share of health care costs, the effect of increasing drug costs is substantial. Sponsored by Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, House Bill 1102 attempts to address such concerns by requiring drug manufactures that produce a prescription course that exceeds more than $50,000 a year to provide a report detailing production costs to a data-collecting entity.

CCLP supports the bill with amendments because it provides an opportunity to shed light on rising prescription drug costs that could inform solutions to cure the problem. Representatives from the pharmaceutical testified against the bill, saying it would raise administrative costs and possibly stifle innovation. The bill was laid over at the House Committee on Health, Insurance and Environment on Thursday. It will be brought back for a vote in the future with new amendments that could address the concerns of some committee members.

Whether HB 1102 passes or not, we encourage policymakers and health care stakeholders to look at high prescription costs in the quest of improving the access and affordability of health care in Colorado.

Learn more about our work in addressing the high cost of prescription drugs to consumers in this CCLP blog posting from last year.

Bill to Watch: HB 1090
The difficulties that cause families to lose their homes to foreclose are financially stressful to say the least. But even when a house is foreclosed, there is often equity and other proceeds left over for the former homeowner after liens, claims and other obligations have been settled. People who call themselves foreclosure consultants purport to help people who’ve lost their homes by recovering such assets.

Unfortunately, many who provide such services charge a high “finder’s fee” that could siphon what little money their customers have left to rebuild their lives.

House Bill 1090, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver and Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, caps the “finder’s fee” at 20 percent of the amount recovered two years following a foreclosure. CCLP supports the legislation because it will prevent consultants from taking advantage of low-income Coloradans who are already on the margins and potentially help them in their efforts to achieve economic security.

The legislation was approved by the Colorado House of Representatives and was assigned to the Senate Committee on Business, Labor & Technology.

On the Radar
HB 1227 would lift the requirement for low-income parents who are teenagers or victims of domestic violence to disclose the identity of the other parent when applying for childcare assistance. CCLP supports the bill.

HB 1196 would establish a statewide pilot program for college savings for preschool children. CCLP supports the bill.

Off the Radar
SB 54, which would let municipalities set the minimum wage to meet the needs of the local economy, was killed by a vote of 3-2 in the Senate Committee on State, Military and Veterans Affairs. CCLP testified in support of the bill on Wednesday.

CCLP will continue to push efforts to raise the minimum wage – which falls far short of meeting the basic needs of most families across the state, according to CCLP’s Self-Sufficiency Standard report.

– Bob Mook

Recent articles

Remarks on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The following remarks are provided by CCLP's executive director Tiffani Lennon. An attack on access to reproductive health is an attack on access to healthcare. Today’s attack on healthcare affects everyone, but particularly those experiencing poverty, with a...