January 31, 2012

(Denver) –A bill sponsored by Reps. Sal Pace and Keith Swerdfeger to extend a pilot program to give more local access to health care in Pueblo passed the Local Government committee yesterday.

HB 1017, co-sponsored by Rep. Pace (D-Pueblo), Rep. Keith Swerdfeger (R-Pueblo West) and Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) extends the Health Access Pueblo program for five more years. The program will expire in 2012 if not extended. The program is a multi-share plan that offers health care coverage to workers in Pueblo. Rep. Pace said the program uses zero dollars in state funding and has a goal to enroll 500 members by the end of 2012.

“The program has been successful thus far and should be extended to continue that success,” Rep. Pace said. “The coordination between Parkview and St. Mary Corwin Medical Centers has been a profound success. You really see innovation in health care access happening with this program, and I am ecstatic it is Pueblo pushing this forward.”

Rep. Swerdfeger echoed Rep. Pace’s sentiments on the success of the Health Access Program.

“This is a welcome measure for Pueblo County,” Rep. Swerdfeger said. “This program’s success in the last five years helping working individuals find access to health care makes Pueblo County a model for others to follow.”

Rep. Pace also said it was great to work with Rep. Swerdfeger on a bill for the people of Pueblo.

“When those elected come together in a bipartisan way like Rep. Swerdfeger and I did, things can really get accomplished,” Pace said. “This was a collaborative effort between Keith and I that will greatly benefit our constituents in Pueblo.”

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