Cause of Action Institute Joins TABOR Case

by Tony Flesor

A Washington, D.C.-based watchdog organization has jumped into an ongoing Colorado lawsuit filed to challenge hospital provider charges under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, along with the legitimacy of House Bill 17-267. In its first filing in the case, the Cause of Action Institute, as pro bono legal counsel for the TABOR Foundation, submitted an opening brief on a motion for summary judgment July 16 in Denver District Court.

TABOR Foundation, et al v. Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, et al alleges Colorado’s legislature violated TABOR in enacting a hospital provider charge in 2009 on inpatient and outpatient services in order to receive federal matching funds for its Medicaid program, collected by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, without holding a public vote.

The suit also alleges House Bill 17-267, which in part transferred authority to administer hospital provider charges from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing by creating the Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise, violates TABOR because it did not substantively change how the charge was levied and the charge was not a fee-for-service transaction.

The complaint also alleges HB 267 violates the state’s single-subject requirement because it contains eight provisions that do not directly relate to the bill’s stated purpose of rural sustainability.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the July 23, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.