A bill by state Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, to expand access to affordable, limited-benefit health care took effect this month. House Bill 1143 …
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A bill by state Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, to expand
access to affordable, limited-benefit health care took effect this
House Bill 1143 will provide a low-cost option to Colorado’s
uninsured by creating a benefit plan with basic coverage for a low
Swalm says the plan is designed as an additional option for
working-class employees who otherwise could not afford any health
insurance at all.
“We must do more to help Coloradans afford private health care,”
said Swalm, an insurance broker. “This new law is a great first
step in doing just that.”
Critics, though, have argued that limited-benefit coverage can
create a false sense of security for those who wind up suffering
from serious health problems.
“These limited-benefit plans are the equivalent of subprime
loans,” state Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, said. “You can buy one
of those plans and lose everything you own the day you get sick. We
don’t need health insurance. We need health care.”
But Swalm says some limited-benefit health insurance is always
better than no health insurance at all.
“There are too many people who can’t afford insurance the way it
stands,” he said. “This new law will go a long way toward expanding
access to quality care and health insurance.”
Currently, there are an estimated 800,000 uninsured
Another Swalm-sponsored health-related proposal has taken effect
this month. The Young Blood Donor Bill has lowered the
blood-donation eligibility age from 18 to 16.
“The passage of this bill into law is a huge victory,” Swalm
said. “By increasing the donor base, we can save lives.”
Bonfils Blood Center estimates that HB 1023 will bring 2,600
additional donors a year, benefiting up to 7,800 patients annually.
The bill requires donors under the age of 18 to have parental
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