Work harder to find solutions that match people’s expectations, pockets

Sitting at my home desk preparing to write this column, I couldn’t be happier to see the mounds of snow outside the window. May El Nino be all for southwest Colorado that’s been promised. For those not fans of winter weather, remember what this moisture will do for us in the spring and summer.

While I wish I could stay at home to enjoy winter, it’s time for me to head back to Denver for the next legislative session, starting mid-January. It’s highly possible, though disappointing from a policy-focused perspective, that this session will be dominated by antics stimulated by election cycle 2016. However, my work will focus on a few specific areas. I’m sponsoring bills from the water and wildfire interim committees, a couple of others related specifically to my district and, finally, several bills focused on Colorado’s biggest budgetary challenge, containing health care costs.

I’ve heard from constituents who are extremely alarmed that their health insurance, which they’re now required by federal law to carry or pay a penalty to the IRS, costs as much or more than their home mortgage. Others absolutely refuse to be put on Medicaid, especially since they know that there are too few health care providers able to take below-cost payments from governmental programs.

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This story was posted on January 7, 2016.