Colorado Patient Advocates: Pay Close Attention To Health Care Debate

By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4) – Policy and patient advocates across Colorado say the failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is a sign that health care will stay the same for the year ahead, telling consumers of health insurance impacted by Obamacare not to worry for now but to pay close attention to where the debate for reform goes form there.

“I think what we saw unfold here is that health care is in fact very complicated. It requires a lot of compromise and a lot of give and take,” said Claire Levy, Executive Director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

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Claire Levy, Executive Director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, in interviewed by CBS4’s Shawn Chitnis (credit: CBS)

Levy said she and the Center wanted to see the Affordable Care Act remain but do believe it should be reformed moving forward.

Just as she predicts health care will stay the same for the next year, staff at Children’s Hospital Colorado are also telling patients they should be able to keep the benefits they’ve received because of Obamacare for now.

“A big deep sigh of relief on behalf of all of our patient families who have been really very concerned and worried about the health care of their kids,” said Heidi Baskfield, Executive Director for Advocacy at the hospital.

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CBS4’s Shawn Chitnis interviews Heidi Baskfield, Executive Director for Advocacy at Children’s Hospital Colorado (credit: CBS)

Last Wednesday CBS4 talked to one of the families worried it would lose benefits from Medicaid that helps pay for their child’s expensive bills. Jenny Fischer’s daughter had a life-changing accident when she was only 11 months old and the family relies on the help from that federal program to take care of her.

“It’s frightening. I don’t know how we would do it on our own,” Fischer said.

childrens hospital colorado Colorado Patient Advocates: Pay Close Attention To Health Care Debate

Children’s Hospital Colorado (credit: CBS)

Baskfield says the Fischers are one of many families in Colorado able to access benefits through Medicaid. She says they not only will wait to see what leaders in D.C. decide on health care but also pay close attention to state lawmakers that can also decide how much help these families get from the program.

Shawn Chitnis reports on the CBS4 Morning News. Email him story ideas at smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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