Hospital-provider-fee bill dies in committee

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A bill that sought to repeal the 18-month-old hospital provider fee died in committee today.

The fee, which passed the General Assembly in 2009 and went into effect last year, is designed to bolster the state’s Medicaid funds. Hospitals pay a fee based on the number of beds in the facility and the federal government matches the money.

Using the fee, the state has been able to enroll more people in Medicaid, lowering the number of people without insurance in the state from around 17 percent to about 15.6 percent.

Earlier this year, Janek Joshi, a Republican from El Paso County, introduced the bill to repeal the fee. The bill was indefinitely postponed in the Health and Environment Committee today.

Other bills that didn’t survive the committee process: a bill that requires the state to identify the largest users of business tax breaks and to publish them online, as well as a bill to allow auto dealerships to open on Sunday.