BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1353
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
|Moved to refer House Bill 09-1353 to the Committee
02:37 PM -- House Bill 09-1353
Representative Miklosi presented House Bill 09-1353, which, subject to sufficient appropriations and the receipt of federal financial participation, authorizes the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide benefits under Medicaid and the Children's Basic Health Plan (CHP+) to pregnant women and children who are legal immigrants prior to the five-year waiting period following their date of entry into the United States. Representative Gerou stated that she was under the impression that, during the last economic downturn, the General Assembly cut off funding for any programs to legal immigrants. She asked the sponsor if he knew when funding for legal immigrants was reinstated. Representative Miklosi stated that he would defer to one of the witnesses. Committee members asked how many legal immigrants would be eligible for the program, if there are U.S. citizens who are currently not covered by the program, and how many legal immigrants use hospitals for their primary care needs.
02:52 PM -- Becky Updike, representing Tennyson Center for Children, Every Child Matters, and the Colorado Council of Churches, spoke in favor of the bill. She stated that access to health care is a moral imperative. She stated that 80 percent of brain development happens in the first four years of life and getting proper health care during this time is vital for healthy development. She stated that when kids are not healthy, they cannot excel.
02:55 PM -- Robert Semro, Colorado Consumer Health Institute, spoke in favor of the bill. He provided data regarding why it is important to provide access to health care for children.
02:57 PM -- Adela Flores-Brennan, Colorado Center on Law and Policy, testified in support of the bill. She stated that one of the core objectives of the center is to provide access to health care for low-income families. She stated that the inequity not to allow legal immigrants access to health care ensures that legal immigrant children go without proper care. She stated that five years is too long to wait to access health care.
03:01 PM -- Tara Trujillo, Healthy Families Director, Colorado Children's Campaign, testified in support of the bill. She spoke to the Cover All Kids by 2010 initiative. She stated the initiative is a coalition of approximately 50 groups that work to provide access and coverage for all children in Colorado. She spoke to the five-year waiting provision which was removed with the federal reauthorization of the State's Children Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). She spoke to the cost-effectiveness of providing care to children and pregnant women. Committee members asked Ms. Trujillo to expand on the financing mechanisms of the CHP+.
03:09 PM -- Dr. Sandeep Wadhwa, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health Care Policy Financing, spoke in favor of the bill. He explained the impetus for the bill which was the federal reauthorization of the SCHIP program. He spoke specifically to the removal of the five-year waiting period provision. He stated that the department would have to request an appropriation in FY 2010-11 in order to implement the bill in the Medicaid program. He stated that the bill allows the department to get the necessary administrative requests in order prior to funding becoming available. Ginny Brown, Legislative Liaison, Department of Health Care Policy, responded to Representative Kefalas' question regarding the cost of the bill with regard to the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS). She stated that John Bartholowmew could respond to that question.
03:19 PM -- Amy Larsen, Fiscal Analyst, Colorado Legislative Council, responded to committee questions regarding the fiscal note.
03:29 PM -- John Bartholowmew, Budget Division, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, responded to committee questions regarding the fiscal note.
| 03:37:54 PM
|Moved to refer House Bill 09-1353 to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion passed on an 8-2 roll call vote.
Final YES: 8 NO: 2 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS