ICYMI: “Health Exchange Malpractice”

Dec 12, 2022

DENVER – In case you missed it, Kelly Sloan, a columnist with Colorado Politics, is the latest voice to draw attention to the failed promises of the Colorado Option. 

Echoing the sentiments of State Senator Jim Smallwood’s recent op-ed in The Colorado Springs Gazette, Sloan explains why artificially mandating lower rates doesn’t lead to less costly medical care. While politicians promised the Colorado Option would increase competition, this unaffordable, government-controlled system is doing the opposite, as several health insurers have announced exits from the Colorado market. He writes: 

“ … [F]ar from reducing the cost of health insurance in the state, the Colorado Option has made the problem worse, evidenced by a 10% increase in small group health plan premiums, and a 7 percent-and-change increase in premiums for the individual market.

“It is not difficult to figure out what happened. Rate setting in the health insurance market is no more effective than price setting in any other market. Artificially mandating rates to be lower does not magically make medical care cost less, it merely shuffles the cost around. And if those costs get shuffled to where an insurer cannot recover them, that insurer will start looking for an exit. That is precisely what happened in Colorado, with several health insurance companies leaving the state in the past few months. So much for ‘increasing competition.’”

Coloradans deserve affordable health care coverage, but this one-size-fits-all system is failing to deliver what politicians promised. It’s time for policymakers to focus on building on and improving what is already working in health care – not start over with a failed, unproven system.

  • Read the full column HERE.
  • Read more on Colorado’s Health Care Future HERE.