Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is opposing a bipartisan bill that would require Colorado insurers to cover annual mental health wellness exams — dimming sponsors’ hopes that it can pass in what’s left of the legislative session.

Polis wrote a letter last month saying he wouldn’t sign any more bills with insurance mandates after signing a bill to require insurers to cover infertility treatments. Sponsors of House Bill 1086, the mental health wellness exams bill, had hoped that the governor might allow their bill to become law without his signature, but after conversations with his office, they are concerned that Polis’ opposition could kill the bill entirely. The sponsors say their bill is even more important during the current public health crisis as people report high levels of anxiety, mental health and substance use problems.

Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet realized her bill was in trouble when she saw it wasn’t on the calendar for the resumed session. The bill passed out of the House and its first committee in the Senate before lawmakers suspended the session in March.

“Right now, the whole world is trying to find a vaccine for the physical illness, and as soon as we can, we’ll do everything in out power to have as many people willing to be vaccinated as possible,” said Michaelson Jenet, a Commerce City Democrat.  “This bill is exactly what we need at exactly this time. It is the vaccine of the mental health crisis of COVID-19,” she added.

Michaelson Jenet had introduced other mental health bills this session, many of which are likely to be postponed because of the crisis, but she believes it’s important to pass this one as soon as possible.

Republican Rep. Colin Larson of Littleton is also a sponsor. He said he continues to support the bill, but sponsors should give up on it if the rest of the General Assembly and the governor don’t back it.

“A lot of things I really believed in, that I think were good ideas, I’ve just acquiesced to dying,” he said.