As the Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports:
Another major part of former Gov. Bill Ritter’s legacy survived Tuesday when a House Republican backed away from his bill to repeal a large fee on hospitals…
Colorado hospitals actually worked hard to get the medical fee passed in 2009, when Ritter was governor, because the approximately $600 million fee draws matching money from the federal government. It is projected to add 100,000 people to the rolls of government-sponsored insurance plans, such as Medicaid.
The scheme increases hospital revenue and reduces the amount of charity care hospitals give to uninsured patients.
Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, saw the fee as a tax illegally passed without a vote of the people.
“In Colorado, we spell ‘tax’ as ‘fee,’ and I kind of felt someone needs to use their spellcheck a little better,” Joshi said.
We’re more than a little baffled here. Make no mistake, we certainly knew that Republicans were going to take a run at former Gov. Bill Ritter’s 2009 hospital provider fee, despite the fact that it was supported by the hospitals paying the fee, and directly results in matched federal funding that would be lost if repealed. All of that is what it is.
Our question is a little simpler: why the hell would you ever put Rep. Janak Joshi in charge of legislation pertaining to medicine?
Some of you may not have been paying attention last September, when media outlets (including this blog) reported on a treasure trove of research on legislative candidates that suddenly appeared in email inboxes. Among the damaging information in these files were records of Joshi being sued for wrongful death, and later for negligence. In 2006, Joshi was admonished by State Board of Medical Examiners for failing to properly evaluate and adequately treat a patient, as well as failing to adequately document the patient’s treatment. In the letter, Joshi admitted he engaged in conduct that “fails to meet generally accepted standards for medical practice.”
Joshi was ordered to undergo an assessment at the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians, and the center recommended he retrain. On December 12, 2007, the Board of Medical Examiners suspended his medical license for failing to take this prescribed retraining. In August of 2008, Janak Joshi was forced to surrender his medical license.
Forunately for Joshi, he was able to trade the salutation “Rep.” for “Dr.” last November!
We realize a number of you–including, we guess, a majority of voters in Rep. Joshi’s HD-14–are probably just now figuring out that this is why he calls himself a “retired” doctor on his campaign website. Oops! Hopefully, whoever thought Joshi was anything close to an appropriate choice to carry this bill is now aware, too, and will find somebody else next time.