Single-payer system clears vote


Single-payer system clears vote

But future uncertain for health-care reform
Hospital fee bill passes Senate

By Joe Hanel

Herald Denver Bureau

Gov. Bill Ritter’s main health-care bill has passed the Senate.

House Bill 1293 would charge hospitals a per-patient fee, which the state government would pool and use to collect matching funds from the federal government. The combined money would be used to put more uninsured people in government health-insurance programs and to increase payments to doctors who care for the poor.

Ritter says the bill will provide insurance to 100,000 people. The exact amount of the fee will be determined by an advisory board to be appointed by the governor.

HB 1293 passed the Senate on a 22-11 vote Monday, with all Democrats and two Republicans supporting it.

GOP opponents argued the bill adds to the federal deficit.

Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, urged colleagues to vote against it "if you have any inkling to be a fiscal hawk at all.

"We’re going to double our debt. This bill makes it worse," Brophy said.

HB 1293 now goes back to the House to consider amendments the Senate added.

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