How about the headlines we’re seeing these past couple of weeks? We haven’t seen marches like this since the 60’s. Then, in the early 80’s, remember when James Watt ran Interior and when Anne Gorsuch ran the EPA? Today’s politics are like the good ol’ days. Sometimes chaos can be healthy. Remember when Russia was so afraid of Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative that it actually worked before he even got the chance to build it?

We’ve been here before seniors. We were just a whole lot younger.

The Senior Space examines the 2017 General Assembly through an older adult lens. Each week we introduce the new bills first; and, then we update the bills we are following and identify for you the next chapter in each of those bills.

Planning Note: HB-1045, SB-003, SB-011 and SB-065 all have hearings tomorrow, Jan 31st. See below

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New Bills we are watching

Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Health, Insurance & Environment, Feb 16th, 1:30p, Room 271

Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Health Care and Human Services. Nothing scheduled

Mobile Home Parks. Concerning mobile home parks, and, in connection therewith, promoting home ownership, protecting property rights, and providing incentives to local governments to preserve and develop mobile home park communities. Veterans and Military Affairs, nothing scheduled

National Popular Vote Agreement. Concerning adoption of an agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by national popular vote. Veterans and Military Affairs. Nothing scheduled

Cap Employer Contribution Rates for PERA (Public Employees’ Retirement Association.) Finance.
Nothing scheduled

Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, nothing scheduled

Bills we are watching

Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee, Feb 1st, 1:30p, Room 0107

Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. The bill modifies the repeal date of the home care allowance grant program (program). Public Health Care & Human Services Committee, Jan. 31st, 1:30pm, Room 0107

Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment Committee, Feb. 7th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Judiciary Committee, nothing scheduled.

Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Concerning modifications to the requirements for health benefit plans to cover health care services delivered via telehealth. Health Insurance & Environment, Feb 7th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. Transportation & Energy Committee, Feb 16th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0112

Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Repeals the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2010 and gives that entity one year to ‘wind up its affairs’ by January 1st, 2018. Finance Committee, Jan 31st, 2:00pm, Room 271

Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. Health & Human Services Committee, Feb 9th, 1:30p, Room 354

Study Transportation Access for People with Disabilities. How can advanced technologies improve and increase access for people with disabilities? This would be a pilot project throughout the year. Health & Human Services Committee, Jan 31st, 9:00am, Senate Chamber

Rural Economic Advancement of Colorado Towns. Allows Department of Local Affairs to coordinate nonmonetary assistance and award grant money to assist rural communities with job creation or retention. Finance Committee, nothing scheduled

Repeal Local Government Internet Service Voter Approval. Concerns the repeal of existing restrictions on the ability of a local government to provide certain electronic communications services. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Feb 13th, 2:00pm, Room 354

Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. This is just one bill expected on the construction defects issue. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Feb 1st, 2:00pm, Room 354

Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise. This is the Hospital Provider Fee bill. Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution and related statutory provisions to administer a fee-based healthcare affordability and sustainability program for hospitals. Finance Committee, nothing scheduled

License Freestanding Emergency Departments. Licensing those freestanding emergency care facilities outside a hospital setting. State Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Feb 8th, 1:30pm, Room 357

Transparency in Direct Pay Health Care Prices. Concerning a requirement that health care providers disclose the charges they impose for common health care services when payment is made directly rather than by a third party. Health & Human Services Committee, Jan 31st, 9:00am, Senate Chamber

Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee, nothing scheduled

Rural Broadband Deployment. Concerning the use of high cost support mechanism funds for rural broadband deployment. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Feb 13th, 2:00pm, Room 354

Coverage for Drugs in a Health Coverage Plan. The bill prohibits a health insurance carrier from excluding or limiting a drug for an enrollee in a health coverage plan if the drug was covered at the time the enrollee enrolled in the plan. A carrier may not raise the costs to the enrollee for the drug during the enrollee’s plan year. Health & Human Services Committee, Feb 9th, 1:30pm, Room 354

Increase Documentary Fee and Fund Attainable Housing. Concerning an increase in the fee imposed by counties in connection with the recording of real estate documents for the purpose of financing a statewide attainable housing investment fund. State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Feb 13th, 1:30pm, Room 357

Authorizing Local Government Inclusionary Housing Programs. Rent control was outlawed in Colorado in 1981. For those housing units, however, that fall into an inclusionary zoning project, “control” would not be unlawful. State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Feb 6th, 1:30pm, Room 357

SB -091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Feb 1st, Upon Adjournment, Room 354

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
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