Friday, August 11, 2017

Colorado in focus: Is Medicaid gobbling up Colorado’s budget?

By Watchdog News - August 11, 2017 at 07:41AM

Denver Post: Is Medicaid gobbling up Colorado’s budget?

Among Republican candidates to be Colorado’s next governor, a common argument has emerged: Medicaid spending in Colorado, driven upward by the Affordable Care Act, is unsustainable.

Victor Mitchell talks about it in a campaign video. Doug Robinson references the concern on his website. George Brauchler spoke of it at the Western Conservative Summit last month: “We have lost the ability to prioritize any spending in our budget for roads, for education in rural areas because of what we’ve done with Obamacare,” Brauchler said. “It has gobbled up so much of our budget.”

Is Medicaid really eating the rest of the state budget alive? And could the state move large sums of money to other priorities by slashing Medicaid spending?

The answers are complicated — some yes and some no.

ABC 7: Denver businesses fed up with A-line delays, blaring horn

Every 15 minutes, the A-line comes blaring down Smith Road in northeast Denver and businesses in the area are fed up with not only the noise, but the long delays at each crossing.

“I don’t know if there’s a spot where you can’t hear it, it does a really good job of being loud,” said Kyle Raley who works near the tracks at American Paintball Coliseum.

“You just have to stop, watch – you can’t talk, ” explained Tony Treash, owner of American Paintball Coliseum.

“If you’ve ever seen the movie Dumb and Dumber where he says you want to hear the most annoying sound in the world and then he makes that screeching sound in the car, this is probably three to four times worse than that,” explained John Bell, who works across the street from a crossing at Holly Street and Smith Road.

The blaring horn and flaggers are required at each A-line crossing because they’re still not timed right.

The Cannabist: Colorado marijuana sales top $750 million at 2017 midpoint

Halfway through 2017, Colorado’s marijuana retailers amassed more than $750 million in sales, according to The Cannabist’s extrapolations of the latest tax data released by the state.

Covering both the medical and adult-use markets, the sales of flower, edibles and concentrates through June 2017 are up 25.7 percent compared with the first half of 2016, The Cannabist’s calculations show.

The cumulative sales made through June equate to nearly $116 million in tax revenue and license fees for the state.

The Colorado Department of Revenue on Thursday published the report for marijuana sales and excise taxes remitted in July. The receipts largely reflect sales made in June, but could include some variance based on incomplete or late returns from prior months.