ICYMI: ‘When Government Sets Prices On Health Care, All Parties Lose’

Apr 30, 2021

DENVER – In a recent opinion piece in The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Chris Thomas, President and CEO, Community Hospital; Bryan Johnson, President, St. Mary’s Medical Center and Dr. Korrey Klein, President and CEO, Family Health West express their serious concerns with House Bill 21-1232, writing, “As the leading health care providers in western Colorado, House Bill 21-1232, Standardized Health Benefit Plan, otherwise known as the Colorado Public Option, is deeply concerning on many levels.” 

They state, “Proponents of this bill continually state that rural areas, vulnerable and minority populations, and low-income earners will benefit financially if this bill passes. This is unequivocally not true. When government sets prices on health care, all parties, especially patients lose.”

“Western Slope hospitals are committed to improving health-care affordability, access to care, and increasing community partnerships. We have been successful in these endeavors without government interference,” they add.

They continue, “We have decreased costs while simultaneously growing patient access to care. Our hospitals are often the crucial point of entry to health care for all populations, especially under-served populations.”

They highlight, “By recruiting and retaining highly skilled medical providers and specialists to our area, access to care has been increased. We have been dedicated to increasing the number of general practice doctors in our community. When patients have a good relationship with their primary care provider, emergency issues decline, preventive health care increases, and overall population health is improved…This relationship also helps keep health-care costs down because catastrophic events are often caught earlier.”

They warn, “HB21-1232 will inhibit our ability to recruit and retain providers by holding hostage the licenses our providers earn unless they meet arbitrary caps set by an advisory committee. We assert that the best people to make decisions regarding care for our patients are the patients and their trained and licensed health-care providers, not government advisory committees.”

“We understand that managing and decreasing health-care costs is an important issue, and we all have a responsibility to help find solutions to this issue. We also understand the countless approaches to lowering the cost of health care in our community. By focusing on local-, community-, and stakeholder-driven solutions, we have been successful in finding courses of action that help lower the cost of health care. Because we are local, we can share the savings with our patients, and give back to our community,” they add.

They conclude, “The Colorado Public Option is a one-size-fits-all approach to health-care cost-reduction, and we firmly maintain, that one-size does not fit western Colorado.”

  • To read the full piece in The Grand Junction Daily SentinelCLICK HERE.