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 colorado ranks sixth in the nation in new health care ranking
colorado ranks sixth in the nation in new health care ranking

Colorado's health care system ranks sixth-best in the country, according to a new report in which researchers argue that states that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act saw the biggest improvements to their health systems.The report, released Thursday by The Commonwealth Fund, found that Colorado's health care system jumped five spots in the organization's Scorecard on State Health System Performance from before the Affordable Care Act to the present. That was the fifth-largest jump among all states. All of top five most-improved states - which also included California, Kentucky, New York and Washington - each expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and set up state-based insurance exchanges."Expansion states tended to move up in ranking from our baseline period, while non-expan

colorado could lose out on $14 billion in federal medicaid funding under gop hea

Colorado would lose out on $14 billion in federal funding for Medicaid by 2030 if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act and replaces it with the Republican-backed plan known as the American Health Care Act, according to a new report Thursday.The report, by the nonpartisan Colorado Health Institute, also found that 600,000 fewer people would likely be covered by Medicaid in the state by 2030 than if the current law remains in place. That group represents people who would have been covered by expanded Medicaid eligibility rules that the American Health Care Act would phase out. Because those people would have low, though not quite poverty-level, incomes, the Colorado Health Institute predicts that many of them would be unable to afford insurance in the private market and would instead go

colorado's solar power capacity jumped 70 percent in 2016

Colorado's solar power capacity shot up an impressive 70 percent in 2016, but the state still lost its top 10 ranking after solar capacity across the nation nearly doubled, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report out Thursday.The state's capacity for generating electricity from the sun rose from 544 megawatts in 2015 to 926 megawatts last year, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.But some states added even more capacity. For example, Utah installed 1,200 megawatts of solar capacity last year and leapfrogged over Colorado to No. 6 in national ranking. Colorado, which ranked ninth for solar capacity installed in 2015, slipped to 11th last year, behind New York.“The reason we are dropping is because after early Colorado leadership i

national academy of medicine releases publication on how to improve nation's hea

WASHINGTON - As the nation discusses repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the National Academy of Medicine today released a publication on crosscutting priorities that provides a succinct blueprint to address challenges to Americans' health and health care that span beyond debates over insurance coverage. The paper is part of the NAM's Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, which conducted a comprehensive national health and health care assessment over the past 18 months. Written by the initiative's bipartisan steering committee, the publication presents a streamlined framework of eight policy directions consisting of four priority actions and four essential infrastructure needs to advance American health, health care, and scientific progress. "As important as

the netherlands rises to sixth place on world happiness index

Photo: Depositphotos.comThe Netherlands has risen to sixth place on the World Happiness Report 2017, an annual ranking which assesses countries in terms of happiness and well-being rather than economic figures such as GDP.The Netherlands has now risen ahead of Canada, the report, first published in 2012, says. The list is led by Norway, which has overtaken Denmark to reach the top spot.The research is published by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network and aims to show that ‘well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy’.The researchers look at factors such as social involvement, trust in society and government, healthcare and freedom.The worst ranked countries are in Africa, with Rwanda, Tanzan

to meet demand, cu boulder asking to double its student mental health fee

CU student mental health fee2016-17: $21.77 per semester2017-18 proposed rate: $42.55 per semesterSource: University of Colorado budget documentsCiting unexpected levels of demand for counseling and psychiatric care, the University of Colorado's Boulder campus wants to double the student mental health fee that helps fund those services.Students currently pay a mental health fee of $21.77 a semester. In return, they get six free counseling or psychiatric care visits at Wardenburg Health Services.CU began charging students this fee, which was proposed by student government leaders and approved by the CU Board of Regents, in the fall of 2015.When they first calculated the fee, Wardenburg leaders initially estimated that students would make 9,400 total counseling or psychiatric care visits per

petition to strip congress of health coverage nears 500,000

As discussions surrounding Obamacare's repeal and replacement take place in Congress, one Change.org petition, targeting the health care coverage lawmakers and their families currently receive, is gathering steam."Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not," argues petitioner Daniel Jimenez. He says that his father passed away from cancer because of late intervention, and the current debate over the Affordable Care Act's replacement reminds him of "whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care.""I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by [ Affordable Care Act] repeal or replace

obamacare repeal, deadly guatemala fire, google: top stories

Good morning. These are today’s top stories:GOP’s health care plan forges aheadHouse Republicans cleared their first hurdle early this morning in an attempt to get their newly introduced health care plan passed by securing a green light from a key Congressional committee. The House Ways and Means Committee has approved the American Health Care Act, which has drawn criticism from large health groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP.FBI director says total privacy doesn’t existFBI Director James Comey said “there's no such thing as absolute privacy in America” during remarks he gave yesterday at a Boston College cybersecurity conference. "There is no place in America outside of judicial reach,” he added. “Even our memories aren’t private

as prescription opioid deaths drop 6 percent in colorado, heroin deaths rise 23

Overdose deaths from prescription opioids in Colorado likely dropped last year to their lowest level in six years, but the state also saw a possibly connected increase in heroin and cocaine overdoses, according to preliminary numbers from Colorado's Health Department.Overall, the total number of opiate deaths — meaning deaths from both prescription painkillers like fentanyl or from illegal opiates like heroin — fell by about 6 percent, from 472 deaths in 2015 to 442 deaths in 2016. That marked a rare yearly downturn in opiate deaths, which have been climbing year-over-year in Colorado since at least 2000, with a couple other exceptions.The biggest gains were made in reducing the number of deaths from traditional opioid painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, which are sometimes called

on health care, republicans find themselves lost without a map

Imagine being a House Republican right now. You hate the Affordable Care Act – at least, that’s what you’ve told your constituents – and you’re inclined to stick with your party leadership, but you’ve also seen a striking rise in progressive activism in your district. You’re probably a little more concerned about next year’s campaign cycle than you might otherwise would be.And then the Congressional Budget Office releases a devastating report that says your party’s health care plan would push tens of millions of Americans into the ranks of the uninsured.Given these circumstances, how inclined would you be to follow House Speaker Paul Ryan’s lead and vote for the American Health Care Act (“Trumpcare”)?Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a critic of the House GOP legislation, had an interesting conver

high country ailment: nederland's only doctor loses medicaid validation

The only doctor serving Nederland and a surrounding mountain area of about 500 square miles between Evergreen and Estes Park has been ordered to stop treating Medicaid patients, leaving more than a thousand clients with few easy options.Dr. Michael Camarata, who runs Nederland's Columbine Family Care, received notice Feb. 13 from the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing alerting him to the prohibition that took effect the first of this month. That department administers Health First Colorado, the new name for Colorado's Medicaid program.As a result of that notice, Camarata's loyal clientele is being sent scrambling for health care, and he is faced with possibly having to close down his office.Camarata, at the time of the state's recent intervention, had about 1,500 Medicaid

poll: colorado voters want to fix, not replace, obamacare

A majority of Colorado voters think it's a better idea to keep Obamacare than to replace it with a new healthcare plan, according to a new poll out this week.The survey by Keating Research, in partnership with the left-leaning firm OnSight Public Affairs, found that 54 percent of respondents wanted to save or improve the Affordable Care Act, compared to the 41 percent of active Colorado voters who preferred to eliminate or replace the 2010 law, better known as Obamacare.The support tracks with Colorado's past support of Democrats and the Affordable Care Act.The state voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and then for Hillary Clinton last year, and state officials have embraced the policies of the Affordable Care Act - including an expansion of Medicaid that added about 400,000 residents

hospitals worry about newly uninsured patients in gop plan

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan conducts a presentation of the American Health Care Act, March 9, 2017. Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images(FORT LAUDERDALE) — When Colorado expanded Medicaid coverage under former President Barack Obama's health care law, the largest provider in the Denver region hired more than 250 employees and built a $27 million primary care clinic and two new school-based clinics.Emergency rooms visits stayed flat as Denver Health Medical Center directed many of the nearly 80,000 newly insured patients into one of its 10 community health centers, where newly hired social workers and mental health therapists provided services for some of the county's poorest residents. Demand for services at the new primary care clinic was almost immediate.The hospital system, like ot

petition to strip congress of health coverage nears 500,000

As discussions surrounding Obamacare's repeal and replacement take place in Congress, one Change.org petition, targeting the health care coverage lawmakers and their families currently receive, is gathering steam."Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not," argues petitioner Daniel Jimenez. He says that his father passed away from cancer because of late intervention, and the current debate over the Affordable Care Act's replacement reminds him of "whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care.""I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by [ Affordable Care Act] repeal or replace

2 bills advance in colorado to curb growing pot at home

DENVER — The nation's most generous grow-your-own marijuana laws came closer Monday to being curbed in Colorado, where the state House advanced a pair of bills aimed at cracking down on people who grow weed outside the commercial, taxed system.One bill would set a statewide limit of 16 marijuana plants per house, down from a current limit of 99 plants before registering with state health authorities.The bill passed 65-10 after sponsors argued that Colorado's generous home-grown weed laws make it impossible to tell whether someone is growing plants legally, or whether the plants are destined for the black market.Of the 28 states with legal medical marijuana, only Colorado currently allows more than 16 pot plants per home.Many Colorado jurisdictions including Denver already have per-home pla

iphone or healthcare? gop's jason chaffetz gets raked after suggesting people ma

Rep. Jason Chaffetz says that the GOP's long-awaited health care plan may lead people to put aside money for their health care instead of "getting that new iPhone."That's the Utah Republican's advice to consumers who are concerned about the changes to the health care system that may be on the way under the House GOP's long-awaited health care plan.The plan puts more emphasis on health savings accounts at the expense of former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which offers more generous subsidies of insurance premiums.To make his point, on CNN's New Day, Chaffetz advised consumers that instead of buying a new phone "maybe they should invest in their own health care."Chaffetz was rebuked on social media, with many Twitter users criticizing him for making it seem like the cost of

republicans' health care plan has already run out of friends

Yesterday afternoon, the American Nurses Association condemned the House Republicans’ health care plan, explaining that the American Health Care Act “threatens health care affordability, access, and delivery for individuals across the nation.”The ANA, representing over 3.6 million nurses, is hardly the only major stakeholder drawing this conclusion. The list of organizations that have come out against the Republican plan has grown quite quickly, and includes the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP, the American Cancer Society, and the American Psychiatric Association, among others.Even America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the powerhouse trade association for private insurers, isn’t happy.At least some on Capitol Hill, however, have embraced an amazing

roger marshall: rep. says poor 'just don’t want health care'

A first-term congressman who previously worked as a doctor is facing criticism after saying poor people “just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”Rep. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas, has quickly become part of a group of doctors taking a lead on replacing the Affordable Care Act. The House Republicans released their health care plan on Monday to intense criticism from both liberals and conservatives, with some estimates predicting as many as one in six people could lose health insurance under the GOP plan.So when Marshall made his comments to STAT, a health care-focused website, many saw them as insensitive and out of touch. The remarks came in an interview last week when Marshall was talking about Medicaid, which expanded to more than 30 states un

colorado's voter turnout in 2016 election remains among top 5 nationally

Colorado continued its strong, top-five showing in voter turnout by ranking fourth in the 2016 presidential election at 72.1 percent, according to a report by Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project.Minnesota led all states at 74.8 percent, followed by Maine with 72.8 and New Hampshire at 72.5. After Colorado, Wisconsin rounded out the top five at 70.5 percent.The national turnout was 60.2 percent, according to the report.Colorado's robust voter participation level reflected its status as a battleground state targeted by presidential campaigns, said Secretary of State Wayne Williams, adding that voter registration efforts and the state's ballot initiative process that triggers citizen participation also contributed to high turnout.Among the top six states, which includes Iowa at 69 p

official report exposes gop health care promises as falsehoods

Last week, Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, did his best to sound optimistic about the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Republican health care plan. “I hear all the talk about the CBO score,” Mulvaney said. “The only question about the CBO: Is it going to be really good or is it going to be great when that number finally comes out?”Late yesterday, the report finally came out. For Republicans, it’s neither “really good” nor “great.”On the contrary, it’s a brutal analysis, offering new details that cast the GOP’s American Health Care Act – “Trumpcare,” to many of the bill’s critics – in a deeply unflattering light. There are plenty of reports on the Congressional Budget Office’s findings, but let’s start with something simple: the degree to which the evidence expos

care by physicians & non-physician clinicians does not differ in community healt

WASHINGTON (Feb. 27, 2017)--A new study examining patient health outcomes in community health centers found that nurse practitioners and physician assistants delivered care that was equivalent to care delivered by physicians. The findings, the first comparison to focus on community health centers, could have implications for the structure of health centers in the future. "Findings from our study should be reassuring to patients who rely on community health centers for their care," said Ellen Kurtzman, associate professor in the GW School of Nursing and lead author of the paper. "We found that care is likely to be comparable regardless of whether patients are seen by a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or physician."As the country grows more dependent on community health centers, part

a rare ally of the gop health care plan has its own motivations

The Republican health care plan is noticeably short on allies. Not long after the GOP’s American Health Care Act was unveiled, it was denounced by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP, the American Cancer Society, the American Psychiatric Association, a wide variety of governors, and consumer advocates.With this in mind, the White House was understandably delighted last week when Anthem, one of the nation’s largest private health insurers, expressed vague support for key elements of the bill, saying the Republican plan “addresses the challenges immediately facing the individual market.”And while private companies are obviously free to support or oppose any legislation they wish, Anthem’s announcement stood out, largely b

a rare ally of the gop health care plan has its own motivations

The Republican health care plan is noticeably short on allies. Not long after the GOP’s American Health Care Act was unveiled, it was denounced by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP, the American Cancer Society, the American Psychiatric Association, a wide variety of governors, and consumer advocates.With this in mind, the White House was understandably delighted last week when Anthem, one of the nation’s largest private health insurers, expressed vague support for key elements of the bill, saying the Republican plan “addresses the challenges immediately facing the individual market.”And while any private company is obviously free to support or oppose any legislation it wishes, Anthem’s announcement stood out, largely

boulder community health to end overnight pediatric admissions

Boulder Community Health will stop accepting pediatric patients for overnight stays at Foothills Hospital after May 1.Instead, children ages 30 days to 17 years old that need to be admitted to the hospital will be sent to the Broomfield campus of Children's Hospital of Colorado.The change is the result the two health care providers strengthening a 15-year-old partnership and a national trend toward community hospitals deferring to the expertise of pediatric specialists."Children's (Hospital) is very well respected," said Jackie Attlesey-Pries, BCH's chief nursing officer. "The support and expertise they can provide is what's best for our patients."The number of kids being admitted to BCH has been dropping for the past decade, Attlesey-Pries said. Last year, only 166 pediatric patients were

international women’s day, wikileaks cia files: top stories

Good morning. These are today’s top stories:WikiLeaks releases secret CIA filesWikiLeaks has published thousands of confidential CIA documents that purportedly describe the “scope and direction” of the U.S. intelligence agency’s worldwide covert hacking program. WikiLeaks said in a news release that it is the largest leak of CIA secret documents ever.Health care debate begins todayThe House Commerce Committee will meet today to discuss Republican lawmakers’ plans to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act. The GOP unveiled its health care proposal on Monday, and many conservative legislators criticized it as being too similar to Obamacare. President Donald Trump is also set to meet with Republican leaders about health care at the White House today.It’s International Women's DayWomen acr

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