Colorado’s Health Care Future Launches New Ads on the True Costs of the State Government Option

As Colorado lawmakers begin to consider the proposed state government health insurance option, Colorado’s Health Care Future is launching new television and digital advertisements to raise awareness about the true costs and negative consequences the proposal would have for Coloradans.

Every Coloradan deserves access to affordable, high-quality health care. Unfortunately, the proposed state government option puts politicians in control of health care decisions, instead of patients and their doctors, and will shift $1.5 billion in higher health care costs to the 3 million Coloradans with employer-provided health coverage.

The state government option would create artificially lower premiums by cutting payments to doctors and hospitals, significantly limiting access to quality care for thousands of Coloradans. A recent study by FTI Consulting found the proposal would create more than $1 billion in losses for hospitals over 10 years. A full 83 percent of hospitals would be impacted, which, the study found, will produce “further cost shifting, elimination of services and, in some cases, hospital closures.”

Some lawmakers have argued that they will create exceptions to protect vulnerable providers. But because Colorado’s health care system is intricately integrated, all health care providers will be affected – and underserved rural communities would be the most impacted. One-third of Colorado’s rural hospitals operate at a loss, and the state government option would put up to 23 rural hospitals at greater risk of closure.

The cost of this proposal will be shifted to the 3 million Coloradans who receive their coverage from their employer, who will end up paying an estimated $1.5 billion in higher health care costs. That means most Coloradans may end up paying more for the health coverage they currently rely on. And, at the same time, the state government option would only reduce Colorado’s uninsured rate by 0.1 percentage points.

The state government option won’t only impact those with private coverage, it will impact Colorado’s entire economy. A study by the REMI Partnership finds the increased cost of providing coverage could cause a loss of as many as 8,300 jobs and $919 million in lost GDP. Business owners will likely begin to scale back coverage, forcing more and more individuals into the state government option – which may put a greater burden on taxpayers. The final report notes that the state government option “may ultimately require reliance on a variety of new funding sources such as federal waiver dollars, State funds, or other levers.”

Coloradans need proven solutions that work for all residents to make health care and coverage more affordable and accessible. From higher costs, to less access to high-quality health care services, to politicians in control of our health care, Coloradans can’t afford the state government option. We need to work towards solutions that build on what’s working and fix what isn’t — not start over with a new state government-controlled option.

To learn more about the true costs of Colorado’s proposed state government insurance option, CLICK HERE.