February 27 2009, 10:01 AM
Several months in the making, Governor Bill Ritter introduced legislation yesterday meant to extend health insurance to tens of thousands of Coloradans who currently go without. The Colorado Healthcare Affordability Act (House Bill 1293) already has support from business and health leaders, as well as legislators from both parties, according to the Denver Business Journal. The bill would charge a fee to hospitals, generating about $600 million a year to provide insurance to Coloradans who qualify for Medicaid and the Colorado Indigent Care Program. The amount would double with federal matching funds, meaning more than 100,000 of the state's roughly 800,000 uninsured could benefit. Additionally, a children's health program would be expanded, according to theÂ Colorado Springs Gazette, reporting that the Colorado Hospital Association, which represents 90 institutions, supports the plan as a way to cut the costs associated with treating uninsured patients.