DENVER, CO – The House Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee today passed two bills that will save Coloradans money on health care and child care.
Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care: SB22-200, sponsored by Representatives Julie McCluskie and Matt Soper, creates a $10 million Rural Provider Access and Affordability Stimulus Grant Program to provide grants to rural hospitals to increase access to health care and save Coloradans money. The bill will provide millions to improve affordability by expanding access to telehealth services, supporting coordination and referral mechanisms between providers, and enabling coordinated and shared care management between rural providers. The bill passed 10-1.
“This legislation will save Coloradans in rural areas money on health care and make it easier to access the services that people need and rely on,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “SB22-200 will direct $10 million in federal economic relief funds to expand the availability of primary and behavioral health care services, telemedicine, and make it easier for Coloradans living in rural areas to access the life saving health care they need to thrive.”
The bill also provides millions to improve access through extended hours for primary care and behavioral health settings, dual track emergency department management, telemedicine, and the expansion of in-demand inpatient services such as long-term care, skilled nursing facility recovery days, and behavioral healthcare.
Saving Coloradans Money on Child Care: SB22-213, sponsored by Representatives Kerry Tipper and Alex Valdez, will boost Colorado’s economy and make it easier for families to access child care and for parents to get back to work. It will increase capacity across the state and better develop the child care workforce to help Coloradans get the training they need to provide that care. The bill passed 9-3.
“By expanding child care options, we’ll save families money and help parents get back to work,” said Rep. Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood. “The high cost of child care is eating into families’ budgets and can leave parents juggling to find someone to care for their children so they can go to work. We’re investing over $50 million to make child care more affordable, support child care providers and save families money.”
“Child care is essential for our economic recovery, and increasing funding for providers will expand child care options, keep providers in business, help parents get back to work and save families money,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver. “With child care costing many hardworking families more than their monthly mortgage payment, we have to act now to help every family afford quality child care.”
This bill will help boost child care capacity by providing $16 million in grant funding to open a new child care center or expand capacity at an existing licensed childcare facility. It will also invest $10 million to support the employer-based child care facility grant program, which will help business owners and other employers provide convenient, high-quality child care on-site while parents are at work.
SB22-213 also adds $15 million to a successful workforce recruitment and retention grant program, and provides $7.5 million to support and train license-exempt informal caregivers working with young children in their communities.