(1)The general assembly finds and declares that:
(a)The state, carriers, and hospitals share a common commitment to ensuring all Coloradans have access to affordable health care coverage because access to coverage improves health outcomes and provides financial security for Coloradans;
(b)Hospitals within the state incur the costs of uncompensated care to uninsured and underinsured populations;
(c)The economic downturn due to COVID-19 and its impacts on group and individual health care coverage in the state creates economic challenges for carriers from the potential lost revenue if people drop insurance coverage;
(d)This part 12 is enacted to provide the following services and benefits to carriers:
(I)Reducing the number of Coloradans who lack health care coverage by helping Coloradans to maintain consistent coverage;
(II)Providing stability in the insurance market;
(III)Reducing the movement of individuals between insured and uninsured status;
(IV)Offsetting the costs carriers would otherwise pay for covered persons’ high medical costs so that premiums are set at more affordable levels; and
(V)Creating a healthier risk pool for all carriers by establishing a path for consistent coverage for individuals; and
(e)This part 12 is enacted to provide the following services and benefits to hospitals:
(I)Reducing the amount of uncompensated care provided by hospitals;
(II)Reducing the need of providers to shift costs of providing uncompensated care to other payers; and
(III)Expanding access to high-quality, affordable health care for low-income and uninsured Coloradans.
(2)The general assembly further finds and declares that, consistent with the determination of the Colorado supreme court in Nicholl v. E-470 Public Highway Authority, 896 P.2d 859 (Colo. 1995), the power to impose taxes is inconsistent with enterprise status under section 20 of article X of the state constitution, and the health insurance affordability fees and special assessments charged and collected by the health insurance affordability enterprise are fees, not taxes, because the fees and assessments are imposed for the specific purpose of allowing the enterprise to defray the costs of providing the business services specified in section 10-16-1204 (1)(a) to the carriers and hospitals that pay the fees and assessments and are collected at rates that are reasonably calculated based on the benefits received by those carriers and hospitals.
Section 10-16-1202 — Legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-10.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).