Colorado’s Health Care Future Statement On House Appropriations Committee Vote To Advance The State Government Option (House Bill 21-1232)

May 4, 2021

DENVER – Colorado’s Health Care Future issued the following statement today after the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance House Bill 21-1232, which would create a new state government-controlled health insurance system, also called the state government option:

“It is disappointing that lawmakers continue to ignore a broad base of stakeholders who have expressed serious concerns about the costs and consequences of creating a new state government option. Today, the House Appropriations Committee advanced HB21-1232 without any public input or new analysis of this so-called ‘new compromise’ version of the state government option bill,” said Colorado’s Health Care Future spokesman Tyler Mounsey.

“HB21-1232 would create more problems for Coloradans than it would solve and would threaten the gains that are already being made in health care. From the granting of unprecedented power to an unelected government bureaucrat, to the government price-fixing measures that will fail to truly lower costs while undermining Coloradans’ access to quality care, to the exorbitant fines and threats to shut down hospitals that do not accept the unsustainable reimbursement rate or participate in the standardized plan, to the gaps and delays in health care services as a result of physicians potentially leaving to practice in other states and worsening the existing physician shortage – Colorado’s economic recovery, health care system, and most importantly, patients, would be at serious risk under the state government option,” continued Mounsey.

“Lawmakers have also overlooked the new federal resources now available to Coloradans through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which will help close the coverage gap and provide more Coloradans with access affordable care. The evidence continues to show that the time has never been better to improve and build on what is working today, not put this progress at risk with the state government option. Lawmakers would be wise to slow down, allow for more analysis and focus instead on solutions that strengthen our existing health care system. Coloradans deserve proven solutions that provide access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care – not a one-size-fits-all system controlled by politicians that would disrupt Colorado’s integrated health care system and threaten Coloradans’ access to care, especially among members of racial and ethnic minority communities,” concluded Mounsey.