ICYMI: Colorado Option Could Lead To ‘Lengthy Waits For Care’

Mar 17, 2022

DENVER – As politicians in Denver push forward with the creation of an unaffordable new state government-controlled health insurance system, known as the “Colorado option” or “public option,” the costs and consequences of similar systems are leading experts to warn of higher costs and reduced access to quality care.

Writing at Forbes, the Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes cautions that Colorado’s “extreme” approach to creating the public option could force “providers to cut staff or curtail service. And that could lead to lengthy waits for care.”

She adds: “Whether on the state or national level, a public option will lead to the same results: higher costs, fewer providers, and rationed care.”

The warnings from Pipes come on the heels of a recent analysis by NovaRest, an independent actuarial consulting firm with extensive experience supporting state and federal insurance regulators, which finds that implementing the “Colorado Option” poses serious potential risks to Coloradans’ access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care.

Meanwhile, private plans and existing public programs are working together today to provide Coloradans with access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care.

Nearly 200,000 Coloradans enrolled in health coverage through Connect for Health Colorado during the open enrollment period which ended on January 15, Colorado Newsline reports – more than a 10 percent increase in enrollments over the same period last year – and of those who signed up for plans during open enrollment, three-quarters received savings, with an average savings of 52 percent. 

Instead of creating an unaffordable new state government-controlled health insurance system that could threaten Coloradans’ access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care, policymakers should focus on proven solutions that strengthen what is working today, including supporting greater participation in existing health coverage resources that help Coloradans get healthy and stay healthy.