Hickenlooper dusts off veto pen, throws out two Democratic bills

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

DENVER — After not vetoing a single bill passed during last year’s frenetic and decidedly progressive legislation session, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will throw out two bills on Friday that fellow Democrats sent to his desk.

Hickenlooper, who is seeking a second term in November, will veto two bills, including House Bill 1108, which would have limited the co-payments required by insurance companies for visits to physical therapists and naturopathic doctors.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, and Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Westminster, and supported by the American Physical Therapists Association, would have prohibited a carrier from charging a covered person a co-payment for physical rehabilitation services that is more than the co-payment charged for a visit to a primary care physician.

The amount charged would also have been capped at no more than 20 percent of the amount the carrier pays to the provider for the office visit.

“Unfortunately, this legislation creates a market imbalance which may discourage use of providers outside the scope of this law and fuel anti-competitive practices,” Hickenlooper wrote in veto letter. “In addition, it puts unnecessary restrictions on cost sharing for services provided by physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists, which limits insurers’ ability to appropriately manage costs and services within their health insurance products.”

Hickenlooper is also vetoing a second bill, Senate Bill 89, concerning Payment In Lieu of Taxes, because the measure limits the state’s authority.

That bill was sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, and Reps. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, and Ed Vigil, D-Fort Garland.

Neither of the bills being vetoed is a major Democratic priority or something that drew a lot of attention outside — and inside — the Capitol building.

But, politically, analysts say the governor can use the vetoes as a way to demonstrate that he’s not the rubber-stamp for Democratic policies that Republicans claim he is.

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11 comments

  • Valerie Hobbs (@Val_HobbsLAc)

    I know there are a lot of other important state issues but this bill was amended at the last minute to take away access to acupuncture. The Governor correctly refused to disenfranchise the 1,000,000 + Colorado residents who have long chosen Licensed Acupuncturists to treat pain. I’m sure it wasn’t his only reason, but I am proud that Colorado will not discriminate against alternative providers when enacting insurance reform.

    • Jeremy Rodgers

      Acupuncturists sure were for the bill until they got amended out of it at which point they urged the governor to veto it. Don’t ask for legislative help from the PT, chiro, or OT professions anytime soon.

  • Mike Bogey

    “But, politically, the governor can use the vetoes as a way to demonstrate that he’s not the rubber-stamp for Democratic policies that Republicans claim he is” – Suckols you are full of it!

  • Fast45

    What a steaming pile of fresh (excrement from the south end of a north-bound horse) that last line is!

    Don’t step in it, next election. Vote Hickenlooper out!

  • tomkaah

    Colorado needed a few vetoes last session. What we got was a Democrat wish list that did not reflect our state.

    I cannot wait to vote in November. I am truly tired of election year antics from both sides.

  • coloradocommish

    One might guess, that he simply couldn’t find the “VETO” Stamp…

    (Hick Quote from June 2013….”Trust me, there was no shortage of advisers who said, ‘Pick three or four bills and veto them so you can demonstrate that you vetoed bills”… He’s probably good for the rest of the year now)

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