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► Governor Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) delivered his State of the State speech on Wednesday. From The Denver Post:
Polis alternated between two themes during Wednesday’s annual State of the State speech, mourning for what the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought in Colorado and expressing optimism not just for the end of the virus, but for “the boldness to imagine a better future … and bring it to life.”
His priorities for 2021 are pretty well-known, given all of the news conferences he’s had since the start of the pandemic: Get vaccines into arms, help the economy heal and, eventually, hold a big bonfire party to burn our masks.
But he broadened his agenda during his address at the Capitol, speaking of equitable education and health care, better roads and highways, rural broadband, and investments in the economy in the forms of tax breaks and small business loans, especially in tourism and renewable energy sectors.
Colorado Public Radio has more on Polis’ speech, as well as a video and transcript.
► Texas Democrats are calling on Sen. Ted Cruz to resign after the Republican Senator decided to take a trip to Cancun while his constituents are freezing their butts off.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz heads for some fun and sun while his home state freezes.
As Chris Cillizza explains for CNN, you’d think Cruz would know better:
In politics, there are a few unwritten rules that every good politician adheres to. Don’t compare any situation to Nazi Germany. Don’t get out of step with your party base. And perhaps most importantly, when things go sideways for your constituents, don’t go on vacation.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz broke that rule this week when he and his family were spotted hopping on a plane to the resort town of Cancun, Mexico, amid a devastating winter storm and subsequent power grid failure in his home state that has left millions in dire straits.
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but: if you’re an American pol whose state is enduring a crisis of Katrina-like proportions and instead of going to help your constituents in even a basic, performative sort of way you FLY TO ANOTHER COUNTRY’S BEACH TOWN, you’re doing it wrong,” tweeted Sonny Bunch, a conservative commentator living in Texas.
That is, of course, exactly right.
► Colorado lawmakers working to cap rising health care costs have an easy foil, as The Colorado Sun reports:
Colorado hospitals charge more, have higher costs and still report higher profit margins than any other state, according to a financial analysis of federal data presented Wednesday to the Colorado Business Group on Health.
Both for-profit and nonprofit hospitals in Colorado have made “strategic decisions to maximize revenue and profit,” in large part by consolidating into a handful of powerful networks, said Thomas Nash, a health care financial consultant and former vice president of financial policy for the Colorado Hospital Association. The report employed analytical tools developed at the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
When non-patient revenues such as investment income are figured in, Nash said, Colorado hospitals as a group reported a 15.6% profit margin, edging out Utah and California for the highest margins in the nation.
► Colorado is inching closer toward its goal of providing COVID-19 vaccines to a majority of residents over the age of 70 by early March.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…