Colorado heads into budget season with big health questions

Officials are scrambling to figure out what may happen to the $5 billion or so the state gets from the federal government each year to cover Medicaid.

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By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Colorado officials are scrambling to figure out what may happen to the $5 billion or so the state gets from the federal government each year to cover Medicaid.

A proposed health care overhaul moving through Congress would have dramatic effects in Colorado. Colorado has some 1.3 million people on Medicaid.

Politicians from both the left and the right say the prospect of evaporating federal Medicaid support demands immediate action. But they have vastly different ideas about what to do.

Democrats say the Obamacare replacement must be stopped or changed to ensure that people don’t lose coverage. Republicans say Colorado needs to start trimming Medicaid costs now and consider dismantling its health insurance exchange.

As Colorado lawmakers start considering next year’s budget in coming weeks, health care uncertainty may dominate debate.

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