ICYMI: Proposed State Government Option “Built on Threats, Not Partnership”

Feb 19, 2020

COLORADO – As lawmakers will soon consider legislation to establish a new state government option, proponents have coined the proposal as a “public-private partnership” in an effort to push through a government-controlled health insurance system. “Are public option supporters truly proposing a partnership between the government and the private health care system?” Simon Lomax, a health care researcher and a former financial reporter, writes in the Pueblo Chieftain, “Not even close.”

“Supporters call it a “public-private partnership” because they want private insurers to sell and administer the new government health plan instead of the state doing the work itself.”

That phrase — public-private partnership — mostly has gone unchallenged. But is it accurate? Are public option supporters truly proposing a partnership between the government and the private health care system?”

Lomax highlights recent comments from Gov. Jared Polis that prove otherwise – the proposal is built on threats

Look, is there a world where you are going to be cut out, or is there a world where you find a way to be part of the solution?” Polis said. “This is a way where you can be part of the solution. … The alternative is not the status quo, the alternative is a system that really goes around and no longer has that as part of the system.”

Lomax continues, “Let that sink in. The governor’s idea of working with private health plans is an ultimatum: Support the public option or you’ll be “cut out” of the Colorado health care system.”

No matter where you stand on the public option, can it really be called a public-private partnership when private health plans are being threatened with elimination if they don’t go along?

Of course not. That’s coercion, not collaboration. And it goes much deeper than the governor’s recent comments on the national stage.”

The trepidation from Lomax comes just before prominent statewide groups representing large and small businesses, agricultural organizations, skilled workers, and rural communities signed a letter urging lawmakers to slow down and conduct a full cost-benefit analysis on the potential unintended consequences of a state government option.

These industries fear more one-size-fits-all coverage would inadvertently cut access to affordable, quality health coverage and care for all Coloradans.

Lomax sets the record straight: “Whether you approve of these tactics or not, one thing is clear: The Polis administration’s public option is not a public-private partnership.

To read the full article in the Pueblo ChieftainCLICK HERE.