10 Bills in 10 Years: CHI's List of the Most Impactful Health Care Laws of the Past Decade

There’s an old saying that you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.  Every year around this time, the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) tries to predict the key health care policy trends and bills that we see in the coming session. (If you missed our webinar on the 2013 legislative forecast, you can view the recording online.)  But this year we took it one step further.

In addition to looking ahead, we decided to take a look at the past as well.  In honor of CHI’s 10-year anniversary, we compiled a list of the state’s 10 most impactful health care laws from the past decade. This was no easy task. There were many notable pieces of legislation to choose from, and it was difficult to narrow the list to just ten.  In the end, the laws we selected fell into one of three categories:

  • Restructuring: Laws that fundamentally changed the structure of Colorado’s health care system, either by transforming funding mechanisms, regulatory oversight, state agency composition, delivery of care or other key aspects.
  • Innovating: Laws that fostered significant health care innovations, setting the stage for advancements that are transforming Colorado’s health care landscape.
  • Expanding Coverage: Laws extending health insurance coverage to more Colorado residents. Colorado has continued a fairly steady path of health care policies aimed at increasing coverage for vulnerable populations.

You can read the full report here, but listed below are CHI’s 10 most impactful Colorado health care laws from 2002 through 2012, starting with the most recent. 

  • Hospital Payment Assistance Act (Senate Bill 12-134), 2012
  • Health Benefit Exchange Act (Senate Bill 11-200), 2011
  • Colorado Health Service Corps Act (House Bill 10-1138), 2010
  • Colorado Health Care Affordability Act (House Bill 09-1293), 2009
  • Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act (Senate Bill 08-194), 2008
  • Medicaid and CHP+ Expansion (Senate Bills 08-160 and 161), 2008
  • Rates Banding Bill (House Bill 07-1355), 2007
  • 208 Commission (Senate Bill 06-208), 2006
  • Colorado Health Care Services Fund Act (Senate Bill 06-044), 2006
  • Tobacco Tax Increase (Amendment 35 and House Bill 05-1262), 2004 and 2005

Still, we recognize that there are dozens – maybe hundreds – of other laws established over the past decade that encouraged positive changes but did not make this list. We also recognize that most health care policies approved by Colorado lawmakers over the past decade have made smaller, incremental changes rather than radical overhauls.  These laws may not be listed here, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they were ineffective. Together, they have added up to a big difference in the way that health care is structured and delivered in Colorado.

Now we want to hear from you. Does CHI’s list capture the top ten most impactful health care laws of the past ten years? Is anything is missing?  Should any of the laws that we selected not be included?  Let us know what you think.