April 22 2009, 9:16 AM
Governor Bill Ritter has signed a bill that he claims will keep the cost of health care down, reducing the number of uninsured people who turn to emergency rooms for care. The bill, the Democratic governor says, aims to provide coverage to roughly 100,000 Coloradans and ensure hospital care is available to 700,000, according to The Associated Press. House Bill 1293--the "Colorado Healthcare Affordability Act"--creates a"provider fee" on hospitals to generate hundreds of millions of federal matching dollars, writes the Denver Business Journal, which reports that local hospitals and consumer advocates backed the plan. Republicans opposed the measure on the grounds that costs would be passed on to insurance companies and consumers, according to 7News, but Ritter argues otherwise. Hear audio of the governor at yesterday's bill signing here.