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Colorado news roundup
The weekday Colorado news roundup is a collection of links to news reports and other resources of interest to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Listing does not imply endorsement of the content.

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Other news summaries

Grasscatcher, from the National Conference of State Legislatures

Today's Health News, from The Colorado Trust

Colorado daily news roundup, from Stateline

Daily Health Policy Report, from Kaiser Health News

More premium money in state
spent on care, report says


Health care
Colorado Springs Business Journal: More premium money spent on care, report says
More than 80 percent of health insurance premiums collected by Colorado carriers went directly to the cost of providing health care, up from just under 77 percent in 2009.

Denver Post commentary: The wrong prescription
Coloradans need and deserve affordable health care. Unfortunately, President Obama's Affordable Care Act does just the opposite. Editor's note: The commentary follows a piece published a week earlier, Why Obamacare is good for America


Family economic security
Pueblo Chieftain: Study: Many of area's children struggle
More than half of Colorado counties identified as high-risk for childhood indicators of struggle are in Southern Colorado, including Pueblo County, according to a report released Thursday.


Fiscal policy
KCFR-radio: Hickenlooper Prepares for Budget Season
Budget negotiations are starting to heat up at the state Capital, and Governor John Hickenlooper is right in the mix.  In our monthly conversation, Hickenlooper talks with host Ryan Warner about spending priorities, overhauling the child welfare system, and whether rural lawmakers deserve a raise.

Associated Press via The Durango Herald: Seniors seek tax relief as state considers budget
It's been more than a decade since Colorado voters approved the property-tax break to help seniors with fixed incomes. But lawmakers refused to pay for the exemption most years in order to balance the state budget. During the next few weeks, a showdown over the senior tax will play out in the state Legislature. After a three-year absence, the exemption may be reinstated at a cost of about $100 million to the budget that lawmakers will vote on this spring.


The national scene
Associated Press via Aurora Sentinel: Plans to drug test welfare recipients get momentum
Conservatives who say welfare recipients should have to pass a drug test to receive government assistance have momentum on their side. The issue has come up in the Republican presidential campaign, with front-runner Mitt Romney saying it's an "excellent idea."

Wisconsin Public Radio via Kaiser Health News: By The Numbers: Wisconsin's High Risk Pool
This week the federal government touted the number of people who have enrolled in the high risk insurance pools created in every state. After a slow start, some 50,000 people with serious illnesses nationwide have signed up for the insurance plans created by the federal health law.


Think tanks
The Urban Institute: State and Federal Policy Choices: How Human Services Programs and Their Clients Can Benefit from National Health Reform
Human services programs-the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, etc.-and their clients can benefit from national health reform. Applicants for health coverage can be linked to human services programs, cutting such programs' administrative costs and improving access.

The Urban Institute: A Decade of Coverage Losses: Implications for the Affordable Care Act
Over the past decade, rates of employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) have steadily deteriorated across ... population groups, with more substantial declines occurring among the lower-income categories; all three population groups saw increases in Medicaid/CHIP coverage, with children experiencing the largest increase; and the percent of parents and childless adults without health insurance steadily increased whereas the percent of children without health insurance has slightly decreased.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Administration's Corporate Tax Reform Framework a Promising Start but Falls Short on Raising Revenue
Revenue Neutrality Is Not Sufficient to Help Address Nation's Deficit Problems.