(Colorado Springs Gazettee, March 8, 2009)
A bitterly divided state House of Representatives gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that would raise fees on hospitals across the state to expand health care programs. "This is a house of cards," said Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma. "This will increase the cost of care, it will drive up the cost of doing business, and it will add to the federal debt and deficit. The bill, proposed by Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, would charge hospitals 2.4 percent of revenues each year and would raise roughly $600 million. That would be doubled by federal funds, and then shoveled back to the hospitals to help pay for expanded care and coverage.