May 2, 2022

HOUSE PASSES BILLS TO SAVE COLORADANS AND RESTAURANTS MONEY

Legislation will save restaurants $40 million this summer and save Coloradans money on health care and prescription drugs


DENVER, CO – The House today passed two bills that will save Coloradans and restaurants money. HB22-1406, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Dylan Roberts, will save restaurants $40 million this summer by allowing retailers to retain some of the sales tax they collect. HB22-1370, sponsored by Representatives Iman Jodeh and Emily Sirota, will save Coloradans on health care and prescription drugs.

“Restaurants were some of the hardest hit businesses during the pandemic, and while public health restrictions have been lifted, they are now facing new challenges from rising costs to a tight labor market,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “This legislation will save thousands of restaurants and retailers $40 million this summer to help them address rising costs and fill the open positions that they need to grow.”

“Restaurants are the lifeblood of our communities and local economies across the state. Helping them save money helps all of Colorado,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts. D-Avon. “The legislation we passed today will save restaurants up to $70,000 per restaurant and $40 million statewide this summer, which they can use to cover expenses, expand their business, pay their workers more and reduce costs for consumers.”

HB22-1406 passed by a vote of 58-7. The bill will save nearly 9,000 restaurants and retailers nearly $40 million this summer by allowing them to deduct up to $70,000 from their net taxable sales, saving businesses about $2,000 in sales tax collections in July, August and September of this year.

“With too many Coloradans suffering from the high cost of prescription drugs, we’re making necessary reforms to ensure that savings from prescription drug rebates are passed on to consumers instead of pocketed by highly profitable insurance companies,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “The legislation we passed today will make health insurance more dependable and protect consumers from out of pocket expenses that they weren’t expecting.”

“No one should have to pay health care bills because their coverage changed in the middle of their plan year without notice or their consent,” said Rep. Emily Sirota, D-Denver. “This legislation will save Coloradans money on health care and prescription drugs and ensure that people have access to the care and medications their doctors recommend.”

HB22-1370 passed by a vote of 42-23. The bill makes prescription drugs and health care more affordable and dependable. The bill ensures doctors are in charge of a patient’s treatment instead of insurance companies by limiting when a patient has to try and fail a treatment that their insurance company prefers before they can get what their doctor recommends. The bill ensures that patients know what they’ll be expected to pay for services by requiring that 25 percent of health plans have a set dollar amount for co-pays instead of unpredictable percentage-based coinsurance.

The bill will save Coloradans money on prescription drugs by requiring insurance companies to pass along the savings from manufacturers’ rebates. The bill also restricts health insurance companies from raising the out-of-pocket costs of someone’s prescription medications on the individual market in the middle of their coverage and prohibits companies from dropping coverage of a medication a patient needs midway through the patients’ coverage.

Two-thirds of Coloradans are not confident they can pay for their usual health care needs with their existing coverage and more than half of all Coloradans worry about affording the medication they need to stay healthy. Colorado Democrats have prioritized saving people money on health care and have passed landmark legislation, including creating the Colorado Option and Prescription Drug Advisory Board, that will save Coloradans money on health care.