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Gov. Ritter signs health care legislation HB 1219

Denver >> Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) praised the legislature and Governor Ritter as House Bill (HB) 1219 was signed into law. The bill renews a 2001 statute allowing rural communities to create health assurance districts.

“Providing local health care services to thousands of uninsured and under-insured Coloradoans requires resources that vary from community to community,” said Kent Peppler, President of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and farmer from Mead, Colo. “HB 1219 enables each rural community to develop the approach that works best for them.”

HB 1219, sponsored by Rep. Roberts (R-Durango) and Sen. Boyd (D-Lakewood), allows rural communities to create health assurance districts to identify the unmet health care needs in their community. The new health assurance districts can contract with existing districts or health care providers for services that cannot be met by resources within the district. The legislation also allows communities to use either a mill levy or sales tax to generate funding for the health assurance district.

“Governor Ritter included health care as a priority in the Colorado Promise,” stated Leland Swenson, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “This legislation is one tool of many that will be needed to provide adequate health care services to all Coloradoans. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and the legislature to improve health care in rural Colorado.”

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