Health First Colorado, Colorado’s Medicaid program, is a public health insurance program that pays for necessary health care services for low-income Coloradans and those living with disabilities. By investing in health care services and supports, Health First Colorado improves health outcomes, reduces unnecessary costs to the health system, and supports a strong Colorado economy. Health First Colorado is also an efficient program, spending far less than what private insurers pay for enrollees of similar health status.

Despite Health First Colorado’s successes and efficient use of funds, opponents of Medicaid have proposed drastic cuts to federal funding for the program.  Federal Medicaid funding currently comprises 60 percent of Health First Colorado’s budget. Cuts in that funding will force Colorado lawmakers to make hard decisions about where to cut eligibility, services, provider rates, or a combination of the three.

In light of these proposals, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy has compiled Medicaid Works, a series of fact sheets that outline some of the reasons Health First Colorado is important to our state and why capping federal funding for this program would be a bad move for Colorado. The resources below illustrate how Health First Colorado benefits Colorado’s health care system, the state budget and economy and Colorado’s rural communities. Furthermore, the fact sheets reveal the importance of this program to children and women’s health, the health of Colorado’s seniors and those with disabilities, as well as to those struggling with substance use disorders.

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Read and share the information compiled below, and then contact your representative today to tell them to protect Health First Colorado!

Read More: Medicaid Works | Colorado Center on Law & Policy original article.

 

Printed Letters: June 18, 2017

By Staff
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Reform cannot include Medicaid reductions
I’m a Republican and have been since voting for Ronald Reagan in 1980. I also have a son with autism who receives care paid for by Medicaid. With both these experiences in mind, I am writing to urge our elected officials to reject the American Health Care Act (ACHA) currently being debated in Washington.

As a taxpayer, I understand the need to manage costs and to prevent instances of fraud and abuse in government programs. Yet, as a father, I have experienced first-hand the importance of Medicaid to our most vulnerable citizens; the elderly, people with disabilities, and people who are mentally ill.

The truth is this should not be a partisan issue. Democrats are just as likely as Republicans to have a child with autism, suffer from depression, or have a parent with Alzheimer’s. Healthcare is a problem we must solve together, a fact well understood by elected officials in the past.

Without a doubt, our healthcare system is a mess. Something needs to be done.

However, nearly half of Medicaid spending goes to people with disabilities, the elderly, and people with mental illnesses. The non-partisan Colorado Health Institute estimates that if the AHCA passes, Colorado would lose $340 million the first year and $14 billion over a decade. Colorado simply cannot absorb those cuts without drastically reducing services to the people who most need our help.

There has to be a better way to fix our broken system; one where nobody gets left behind and the Medicaid services people needs to live productive lives are not sacrificed.

For these reasons, we should all urge Sen. Gardner, Sen. Bennet, and Congressman Tipton to oppose the American Health Care Act and instead work to find a solution that meets the needs of all Colorado’s citizens.

TIM HUDNER
Grand Junction

Editor’s note: Tim Hudner has lived in Grand Junction since 2008 when his son Sandy was admitted to the Grand Junction Regional Center. He is a member of the Colorado State Housing Board, the Grand Junction Housing Authority Board, and a past chair of the Mental Health Center of Denver’s board.


Kayaker grateful to all who came to her rescue
A BIG shout out of thanks to all the people who helped to pull me and my kayak out of the Colorado River at the 24 Road boat landing on June 4 after our kayak got crosswise in a current and capsized, dumping my husband and me out.

He made it to the shore, but I was caught in a current and got swept downstream. Thank you to Rich for trying to throw me a line and then running downstream to try again.  Thank you to the three kayakers who saw me and tried to get to me, but waited with me. Thank you to Abby, her brother, and her father for pulling me out with my oar. Thank you to Mary and Lukasz, who retrieved the kayak and had to float further to the Fruita landing while not realizing what was happening behind them.  Thank you to the Redlands crew of the Grand Junction Fire Department that also came to my rescue. Thank you to Bri, Nora, and Eva for giving my husband and me a ride home. 

Grand Junction is filled with good people! God bless all of you!

KAREN HORTON
Grand Junction


Election outcome matters less than the president’s actions
I try to read all of the articles in the ‘Commentary’ section of the Sentinel on a daily basis. Although I don’t agree with all of the commentaries, I learned long ago the importance of perspective and therefore I plow ahead.

Rick Wagner is one of those writers that I struggle with, though his D-Day article was one I appreciated — until his last paragraph.

He included the ongoing Republican mantra that those (of us) who “tear at the fabric of the country because they don’t like the election results.” That is so wrong.

Yes, we don’t like the results of the election, but what we really don’t like is:

  1. The damage that this administration is adamant about doing to our environment..
  2. That the administration is adamant about reversing conservation mandates, such as Bears Ears, for the benefit of the oil and gas interests.
  3. That this administration wants to impose anti-immigrant legislation that is contrary to the principles of our country.
  4. That this administration does not represent the real character of our country.

That’s what is bothering us.

TOM BACKHUS
Paonia


What role did media play in shooting of Congressman?
What is perhaps so troubling about the shooter of the Republican lawmakers is that this deranged killer may very well have been a radicalized leftist who was impacted enormously by the media.

Violence from the left is a growing phenomenon that is affecting so many groups and conservative students on campus.

The solution is not to ban free speech, but to tone down rhetoric all around, especially anti-free speech rhetoric from the left.

HENRY A. WHEELER
Grand Junction

Printed Letters: June 18, 2017 - The Daily Sentinel

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Dear Senator Cory Gardner

United States Senate

Washington, DC

 

Via FAX - 202 228 7171

RE: AHCA

June 17, 2017

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Dear Senator Gardner:

Our recently deceased profoundly developmentally disabled 49 year-old son was the recipient of Medicaid funds under the Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver.  He was able to participate in the community, despite the intensive support and care he needed.

 

It pains us greatly to learn that it is proposed by the United States Senate to remove and reduce these waivers and supports for others in Andy’s situation.  We don’t understand the reasoning behind this.  It is less expensive to provide the needed care and services in the community than in “nursing homes” and “institutions” – which is where we fear things are heading.

As a Coloradan you must be aware of the tremendous financial strains in the state budget and the inability of the state to raise funds, due to the limitations of Tabor.  So, where do the dollars come from when the federal budget is cut over $800 billion?  The FMAP program is working well.

Additionally, the current Medicaid program allows for federal supervision and review of state actions, such as the recent and current fiasco at Pueblo Regional Center.  Without the federal interventions by CMS, the abuse would never have been stopped.  All states need outside observation to protect our pretty much helpless children.

The “secret” bill being drafted by the Senate goes against all traditions of transparency, both state and federal.  Why must it be secret?  Please open it up to appropriate discussion and input by folks like me and my wife.

 

Thank you for your service to our country.  I remember your concerns for those in need when you were in the Colorado legislature.  Please don’t lose that concern.

 

Yours very truly,

 

 

Denver C. Fox, Ed.D.

Nora Palmer Fox, RN

17454 E Dewberry Drive

Parker, CO 80134

303-773-3890

dnvrfox@aol.com

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Download the original letter in PDF format.

 

FB Posts:

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1 in 5 Americans relies on Medicaid to stay healthy and independent. Medicaid cuts and per capita caps means less care, lost jobs, and greater hardships for families, especially in rural areas. Call your senators and tell them don't cut and cap Medicaid. #SaveMedicaid

 

More than 112 organizations banded together to tell the Senate not to cut and cap Medicaid. Below is the ad that ran in POLITICO today. Stand with us. #SaveMedicaid Call your senator and tell them not to cut or cap Medicare. 1-866-426-2631

 

Tweets:

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1 in 5 Americans relies on #Medicaid. Call your senators and tell them don't cut and cap Medicaid. #SaveMedicaid

 

7 million seniors rely on #Medicaid. Call your senators and tell them: don’t cut and cap Medicaid. #SaveMedicaid

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More than 112 organizations told the Senate not to cut and cap #Medicaid. Now it’s your turn. Call 1-866-426-2631 http://www.laco.org/

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Download the document and graphics.