State Split on Health Law, Two Years Later

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1min 27sec

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the federal health care law, and in Colorado, different parts of state government are simultaneously embracing it, and fighting it. CPR Health Reporter Eric Whitney explains.

Here is a transcript of Eric Whitney’s report:

Reporter Eric Whitney: Coloradans celebrating the health law in on its birthday include the people behind “Thanks, Obamacare.Org.”

Serena Woods: Do you want to move forward with Obamacare, or without?

Reporter: Serena Woods with the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative helped set up the site, which highlights, board game-style, the law’s benefits.

Woods: The economy is bad and you’re getting laid off from your job. Luckily, you are under 26 and can get back on your parent’s insurance. Thanks, Obamacare.

Reporter: Among those not celebrating the law’s birthday: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

John Suthers: A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance is an unprecedented form of federal action.

Reporter: Suthers, a Republican, made Colorado a party to the 26-state lawsuit trying to overturn the health care law. The suit argues it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to require people to buy health insurance. The US Supreme Court starts hearing arguments in the case on Monday.

In spite of that, Colorado’s legislature and Governor John Hickelooper are moving ahead with implementing the law here. Lorez Meinhold is the governor’s health policy director.

Lorez Meinhold: it’s an aggressive timeline, but we know there’s a real need out there, and so there is real importance to making sure we move forward.

Reporter: Where some states are sending back federal money to set up the health care law, Colorado is taking its share, with the blessing of a bi-partisan legislative oversight committee. That money is being used to set up a new health insurance marketplace called an “exchange” that’s supposed to make finding coverage easy and affordable. If the Supreme Court allows the insurance requirement, it will go into effect in 2014.

[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]