Colorado Capitol Report

Supreme Court Upholds Key Provisions of Federal Affordable Care Act in 6-3 Decision

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State Policy News

Supreme Court Upholds Key Provisions of Federal Affordable Care Act in 6-3 Decision

Today, the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the four liberal-leaning Supreme Court justices in the 6-3 decision on King v. Burwell, upholding critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act regarding the legality of health insurance subsidies received by consumers in states that did not establish state-based health insurance exchanges.

The Court found that the tax-credit subsidies are both legal and available to health insurance consumers in all 50 states, rejecting the petitioners argument that the letter of the law in the Affordable Care Act limited the availability of the tax-credit subsidies only to consumers in states that acted to establish state-based health care exchanges in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s passage into law.  Summarizing the Court’s majority decision, Chief Justice Roberts wrote:

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.  If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.  Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt . . .”

The decision is the most important health care ruling since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and is also a turning point for the Affordable Care Act, which has been subjected to numerous legal challenges to its constitutionality and dozens of legislative attempts to wholly repeal the law since its passage in 2010.   With the most serious legal and constitutional challenges now exhausted, attempts to amend or repeal the law will require an act of Congress.

For more information on today’s decision, see this SCOTUS Blog post or this Denver Post article.

HCPF to Consider New Reporting Requirements for Self-Insured Employer-Funded Health Plans at Monday, June 29th, Hearing

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is currently considering a proposed rule change to expand the definition of a “private health care payer” to include self-insured employer-sponsored health plans.

The final rule hearing for the proposed rule change is scheduled for this Coming Monday, June 29th at 2:00pm at 303 East 17th Avenue, Room 7AB.  HCPF will post the proposed rule on its website one week prior to the hearing.

HCPF’s proposed rule changes would include the following:

“For the purpose of this regulation, a ‘private health care payer’ means a self-insured employer-sponsored health plan covering an aggregate of 100 or more enrolled lives in Colorado.  It does not include a self-insured employer-sponsored health plan, if such health plan is administered by a third-party administrator or administrative services only organization (“TPA/ASO”) that serves less than an aggregate of 1,000 enrolled lives in Colorado.”

Click here to view HCPF’s full rule change proposal as indicated within the existing rule.

Impact to Employers

This rule change would require employers with self-insured health plans to submit claims information to the Colorado All Payers Claims Database (APCD).  Currently, employers with self-insured health plans are not subject to rules requiring the disclosure and reporting of claims information to the APCD.

The Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) is an organization appointed by HCPF to be the administrator of the CO All Payers Claims Database.  Click the following links to see resources CIVHC has produced regarding the proposed HCPF rule change.

It is important that CACI members share any concerns regarding these proposed changes during the rule making hearing or with CACI staff in advance of the hearing.

CACI members with questions should contact Daniel O’Connell, CACI State Governmental Affairs Representative, at 303.866.9622.

August 26th CACI Congressional Luncheon Menu: EPA (Ozone Regs, Clean Power Plan), NLRB (Unions), Ex-Im Bank (Trade), Taxes, Paid Medical Leave, Etc.

Two years ago, in a non-election year, CACI held its first-ever luncheon for the Colorado delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Six of the seven House members participated, which amazed journalists at CACI’s ability to gather almost all of the delegation for the luncheon to discuss a wide range of Federal issues affecting Colorado’s business community.

This year’s Congressional Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 26th, in the Grand Ballroom at The Ritz Carlton Denver, 1881 Curtis Street, Denver CO 80202.

The confirmed participants are:

  • Congressman Ken Buck
  • Congressman Mike Coffman
  • Congressman Doug Lamborn
  • Congressman Ed Perlmutter
  • Congressman Jared Polis
  • Congressman Scott Tipton

The seventh member of the House delegation, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, has been invited.

“This CACI Congressional Luncheon will bring Colorado’s U.S. House delegation together with our members for one-on-one time over lunch and a chance to discuss the issues most important to creating and sustaining successful businesses in Colorado,” said Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal Policy Representative.

The moderated panel discussion of the Representatives promises a lively debate on the major business issues before Congress, given that three of the confirmed participants are Republicans and two are Democrats.

CACI members can expect the panel discussion to range across such major issues as ozone regulation, fracking, union elections, taxes and coal-fired, power-plant emissions.

“There’s no other event in Colorado like this Congressional Luncheon, to our knowledge,” Leah said, “and our Colorado Representatives truly appreciate this unique opportunity for special access to the insights of CACI members.”


Corporate Tables of Ten: Members–$1,500; non-Members–$2,500.  Individual member tickets–$150.  Individual, non-member tickets–$250.

For information, contact Tricia Smith, Senior Vice President, Events and Political Fundraising, at 303.866.9629.


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News Media Coverage

Below is recent news-media coverage of state and federal political, policy and governmental issues of interest to CACI:

Colorado soars on CNBC’s ‘Top States for Business’ list,” by Mark Harden, The Denver Business Journal, June 24th.

Judge delays BLM’s fracking rule, siding with Colorado attorney general,” by Cathy Proctor, The Denver Business Journal, June 24th.

AG Coffman breaks her silence as drama continues for state GOP,” by  Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post, June 23rd.

EPA: Act now on climate change or pay later in money and deaths,” by Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, June 23rd.

Reaching the true potential of Colorado’s workforce,” guest commentary by Crisanta Duran, The Denver Post, June 21st.

Federal Policy News

House Approves Chemical Regulation Bill (TSCA)

The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is on its way to being improved for the first time since it was enacted in 1976.  CACI has actively lobbied our Congressional delegation for support of this common-sense legislation by letter and our most recent DC visit.

On Tuesday, the House approved the bipartisan bill to update standards of regulating harmful chemicals – for the first time in nearly 40 years. After clearing hurdles and amendments in both committee & subcommittee, the bill is now headed to the Senate.

  • NAM Applauds TSCA Reform: “It is past time for TSCA reform, and this House vote is an example that compromise is still possible from our leaders in Congress. … This is a win-win situation, for the American public who deserves safe and sustainable products and for manufacturers who need greater regulatory certainty and the continued ability to make better products while growing the economy and creating jobs.”
  • AP Story