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Small Business Owners Crushed by Demands of Multi-Payer Health Insurance, Endorse Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act HB 09-1273

For Immediate Release   March 17, 2009   
Contact: Dick Barkey  Phone: 303-808-8504
Testimony: Doctors, Business Owners & Workers Testify on behalf of HB 09-1273
Endorsers: 43 Groups Endorse Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act
Hearing: March 18, 1:30 pm  Old Supreme Court Chambers

Doctors, Small Business Owners, & Workers Crushed by Demands of Multi-Payer Health Insurance, Endorse Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act HB 09-1273

The Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act (HB 09-1273) would create the Colorado Health Care Authority to design the Colorado Health Care System as a public payer, private provider model of health care reform to provide comprehensive benefits and full choice of providers and hospitals for all Coloradans. The Act sets up the guidelines for creating such a system, with special attention to primary care and other provider shortages in rural areas, and prioritization of retraining and job placement for displaced workers. More information: www.HealthCareForAllColorado.org.

Following is a sample of testimony that will be given on Wednesday, March 18 when the bill is heard in the Business Affairs and Labor Committee.

David Zehring, MD, retired surgeon and clinical professor of surgery, is chair of the Huerfano County Hospital Board. "The Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center Family Clinic, a community primary care clinic, operated at a loss over the past year, even though they saw a record number of patients," relates Dr. Zehring. He notes that billing (for 85 different plans by 68 different vendors) comprises 20% of clinic expenses - 15% of the cost for billing private vendors, and 2% for Medicare billing. "Unless Colorado moves away from multiple insurers, and sees adequate reimbursement for Medicaid, CICP and the uninsured, many rural clinics will fail. I urge support for HB 1273."

Sixty-year-old Dovovan O'Dell is a small business owner who has had to lay off employees and eliminate insurance coverage. "For the first time in our lives, my wife and I are without insurance. We have eliminated purchase of prescribed diabetic meds and can't afford a highly recommended diagnostic procedure for a life threatening disease. Many others are in the same boat. It is urgent that we pass HB 1273 to bring down health care costs."

"Our family faced a 'Sophie's Choice' when I was laid off in 2004. Our very good insurer attempted to drop my diabetic wife and my daughter after she had a kidney transplant," relates Chris Schwab of Ft. Collins. The cost of COBRA was prohibitive, so we dropped coverage on everyone except my daughter. I later discovered that my wife had cut back on her meds to save money. The fundamental problem with private health insurance is that nobody insures a burning house. My wife and daughter are 'burning houses.' Health insurance is great, until you need it. The Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act would provide necessary health coverage and restore peace of mind."

Attached, please find the list of groups that have endorsed Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act - HB 09-1273   (Next page)
Groups Endorsing Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act  -  HB 09-1273   (3-13-09)

1.  Colorado Nurses Association
2.  Colorado Medical Society
3.  National Association of Social Workers, Colorado Chapter
4.  Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
5.  Colorado Education Association
6.  League of Women Voters (Colorado)
7.  Junior League of Denver
8.  Colorado Cross Disability Coalition
9.  Autism Society of Colorado
10. Boulder Psychotherapists Guild
11. Colorado Social Legislation Committee
12. Hunger for Justice
13. Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Colorado
14. The Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church
15. Balanced Choice Health Care, Inc.
16. Health Care for All Colorado
17. Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans
18. Be the Change USA
19. Justice & Peace Ministry Team of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ
20. Arapahope Community Team
21. LARASA (Latin American Research And Service Agency)
22. Colorado Association of Public Employees (CAPE) retirees
23. PULSE of Colorado
24. Mental Health America of Colorado
25. Republicans for Single Payer
26. Colorado Community Health Network
27. Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved
28. American Federation of Teachers, Colorado (AFL-CIO)
29. Colorado Classified School Employees Association (AFL-CIO)
30. Colorado AFL-CIO
31. The Arc of Aurora
32. Progressive Democrats of America, CD 2 branch
33. The Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health-Colorado Chapter
34. Peace, Liberty & Justice Task Force at Jefferson Unitarian Church
35. Colorado Senior Lobby
36. Colorado Citizens for Accountability
37. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Boulder Branch
38. Progressive Democrats of Colorado
39. Parent to Parent of Colorado
40. Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
41. Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
42. KEENE Research & Development
43. Progressive Democrats of America (Longmont Chapter)

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