Proposed budget will hit Colorado’s rural hospitals the hardest

The Joint Budget Committee had little option but to cut the amount the state’s hospitals receive under a federal matching grant program that supports their operations.

AP_LOGO_02

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s rural hospitals would sacrifice the most under a balanced budget proposal to be introduced in the Legislature next week.

The Joint Budget Committee had little option but to cut the amount the state’s hospitals receive under a federal matching grant program that supports their operations.

That’s because to get the grants, hospitals first make payments to the state. And those payments pushed total state revenues above a legal cap established by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the constitutional amendment adopted in 1992.

Rep. Millie Hamner says the committee reduced those hospital payments by $264 million — ”especially affecting rural hospitals that serve the underinsured and uninsured.

The proposal also eliminates taxpayer refunds in 2018 that would have averaged between $15 and $30.