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Senate Bill 24-130 Passes Senate Judiciary Committee, Paving the Way for Legislation that Protects Coloradans’ Access to Care  


DENVER – April 11, 2024: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 24-130 (SB-130) on a 4-1 vote, legislation which will protect Coloradans’ access to quality, affordable health care. The bill must now clear the full Senate and the House before the legislative session concludes on May 8.  

The passage of SB-130 is critical to protecting Colorado’s health care system, which is being threatened by five proposed ballot measures that could make their way to Colorado voters in November. If they were to pass, they would make health care more expensive, harder to access and less safe.   

Specifically, Colorado trial lawyers are focused on eliminating the cap on non-economic damages in malpractice lawsuits, which would open the door to astronomical jury awards and send health care costs surging by an estimated $155 million per year, according to COPIC, a Colorado-based medical liability insurance carrier. This would further drive up the costs of care and force already scarce specialists to close their practices or move out of state. SB-130 provides a balanced approach by increasing the limit on how much an individual can collect when they win a medical malpractice lawsuit, while still protecting patient safety, quality of care, affordability and health care access across our state.  

Supporters of SB-130 testified before the committee on Wednesday. Medical professionals, patients and legal experts shared how critical it is to protect patients while maintaining high-quality care and providing health care access for all Coloradans.  

“I understand the need for protections in the case of medical malpractice. As a family in the health care system, I want those protections in place for us, should we ever need them,” said Reverend Ian Cummins, a Colorado father who had his world turned upside down in March of 2023 when his family learned their 18-year-old son had a brain tumor. “But I also want protections for the medical specialists who saved my son’s life. They perform miracles – a word I don’t use lightly in my business. And if skyrocketing insurance makes it prohibitive for the best-of-the-best to practice in Colorado, or to choose against doing high-risk procedures like we needed, then we’ve made a huge mistake.” 

“Physicians who treat patients with the most complex medical challenges already face higher risks of adverse outcomes and litigation,” said Dr. Catrina Bubier, OBGYN. “Rising costs and the specter of unlimited jury awards could lead us and our fellow specialists in obstetrics, neurology and surgery, for example, to opt out of higher-risk procedures, charge much more for such services or leave our practices altogether—exacerbating the already serious problem of ‘health care deserts.’” 

“We already struggle to recruit physicians to rural Colorado, particularly those in high-risk specialties,” said Jennifer Riley, CEO of Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig. “If caps are removed, we’d see a substantial increase on medical liability insurance premiums. For hospitals like ours with very thin operating margins, this means we either have to cut services or pass on costs to consumers.”  

“The research is clear that having a cap at some level helps tame medical malpractice insurance costs and, in turn, leads to more health providers being willing to practice in that jurisdiction, which supports access to health care. This is why Healthier Colorado supports raising the cap on non-economic damages for victims of malpractice in our state, but we also remain aligned with the evidence in supporting the existence of a cap in order to maintain a health provider workforce that can meet the needs of patients,” said Jake Williams, President & CEO of Healthier Colorado. 

For additional information on SB-130, visit


About Coloradans Protecting Patient Access 

We are a broad coalition of Colorado-based organizations that represent nurses, health facilities, dentists, physicians, women’s health advocates and other health care professionals. We work to maintain a stable medical liability environment that protects patients and providers by containing costs and ensuring access to care. By taking a balanced approach that considers the interests of everyone involved in the medical care delivery system, we advocate for the overall well-being of Coloradans.