EDITOR’S NOTE: Yesterday the Colorado House Health and Environment failed to pass SB11-170 out of committee by a 6 to 6 vote. CPWD Executive Director Ian Engle was at the Capitol to testify. These are his written comments of what more he would like to say to the committee.
Greetings House Health and Environment committee members:
Premise: In these tough economic times we all need to make sacrifices for the greater good.
SB170 specifically addresses the mandatory 3% increase in statute for Medicaid reimbursement rates to nursing facilities and the extra steps the legislature must take to consider making cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes. Currently, our state is affirming an institutional bias, because the mandatory increase is in Colorado statute for nursing homes and not for home and community-based long term care providers. I do not believe we want to be recognized as a state that adheres to such a blatant institutional bias in the midst of a culture that is looking to support home and community based options for long term care as a means of not only being morally responsible, but also fiscally responsible.
We all need to be making sacrifices evenly, and that is not currently the case in Colorado. If the answer is to provide a mandatory 3% increase in statute for all Medicaid long term care providers, that is fine with me, but one way or another we should not leave this big ‘institutional bias’ target on our state. SB170, if passed, would effectively remove this target by establishing an equitable system for fiscal accountability.
Please consider bringing SB170 out of ‘limbo’ so we can address the institutional bias and establish a system where everyone is pulling weight evenly. I believe I can speak for my colleagues copied on this message when I say that we are ready to work hard and make sacrifices in the interest of an ethically, morally and fiscally sound Colorado. SB170 is an imperative first step in that direction.
Thank you for your time and consideration with regard to this important matter that affects not only how we do business in this state, but also how we measure up on a national scale.
Feel free to contact me at your convenience with any questions, concerns or helpful feedback.
Center for People with Disabilities