Committee hearings at the capitol are in full swing for the 2024 session, and the Colorado Chamber’s lobby team has been active in providing testimony on several bills impacting the business community. One bill we’re watching closely this week is HB 1075, which requires the state to consider a statewide universal single-payer health care system in Colorado. It would also create a model legislation for implementing such a system.
The Colorado Chamber’s Health Care Council took an opposed position on the legislation last month due to the risk of increased costs on our already-strained health care system. In its 2024 legislative agenda, the Chamber says it will specifically oppose any measure like HB 1025 that would create new mandates on health care industries. While many of these proposals are well-intended, each new mandate contributes to the cumulative burden on the state’s health care industry, which ultimately passes costs on to patients and employers and chips away at the goal of making health care more affordable.
The bill was heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee this week. Meghan Dollar, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Political Operations, testified in opposition to the bill. She emphasized the need to fully implement previous legislation before pursuing additional structural reforms.
“While we recognize that HB24-1075 is a study, we are concerned that the intent of the bill is to study and get a predetermined outcome,” Dollar said. “In addition, given all the work that’s been done on the Colorado Option which has not been in place long, why are we studying single-payer before that is fully implemented?”
Ultimately, HB 1075 would lead to future legislation that would further increase the regulatory burden on employers, which continues to threaten Colorado’s economic competitiveness.
The bill passed the House Health and Human Services Committee on a 9-4 party line vote. It was referred to the House Appropriations Committee where it awaits a hearing.