HB 1262 will ensure care for those in need

Filed under: Opinion |

Dear Editor:

Community health centers are the main source of primary care for low-income working Coloradoans. Nearly half of community health center patients have no public or private health insurance and depend heavily on the clinics within Colorado communities for affordable and quality health care.

House Bill 1262 will ensure that 19 percent of the new revenue from Amendment 35, the tobacco tax enacted by Colorado voters last fall, is used to help fund these indispensable community clinics.

The same coalition that worked to pass Amendment 35 last November is supporting this bill. It would ensure that Coloradoans get exactly what they voted for in Amendment 35: a stronger health care system for our state.

Colorado’s community clinics currently serve more than 375,000 people annually. Yet for every one uninsured working poor family member that a health center treats, there are four others who need services.

In the Pikes Peak Region, Peak Vista Community Health Centers serves over 44,000 patients annually but could serve more if the revenue generated from Amendment 35 is not diverted to other non-health care state priorities. HB 1262 guarantees that revenue, a mandate from the voters.

Supporting Colorado’s community clinics and Peak Vista Health Centers through this legislation will ensure access to more people. House Bill 1262 provides just the support that our clinics and our working families need.

B.J. Scott

President and CEO of Peak Vista Community Health Care Centers