WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Colorado Leaders and Stakeholders Resist New State Government Insurance Option Legislation

COLORADO – After Colorado lawmakers recently introduced legislation (HB20-1349) to establish a state government public insurance option, voices throughout Colorado began expressing the harmful consequences of a state government-controlled health insurance system. Leaders and stakeholders across the state continue to push back and encourage lawmakers to consider alternative solutions that provide affordable, high-quality health – not force a one-size-fits-all new government health insurance system on Coloradans. 

Don Shawcroft, President, Colorado Farm Bureau:
“Colorado farm families aren’t convinced that rural hospitals will be able to opt-out of the State Option consequences. Colorado hospitals are interconnected which means slashing reimbursements to one group of hospitals by 40% cannot be isolated from impacting the rest of Colorado’s integrated healthcare system. More than 700,000 Coloradans who live in rural and agricultural communities need solutions that expand access to care and make coverage more affordable, not rushed and unvetted proposals that could close hospitals.”

Loren Furman, Senior Vice President of State and Federal Relations, Colorado Chamber of Commerce:
“There is no question that the cost of health care in Colorado is becoming unsustainable and is felt by businesses and workers across the state. While we agree that lawmakers should find a way to increase market competition and drive down costs, the Colorado Chamber remains concerned about the direction this proposal takes to achieve those goals. From cost-shifting to government mandates and rate-setting, the proposal runs the risk of driving hospitals and insurers out of the state and increasing premiums for the majority of Coloradans on employer-sponsored health plans.

Lee Boyles, CEO, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, Jefferson County:
“If a rate is set at 175% to 200% of Medicare, that’s going to have some real drastic implications for the services we provide.

Dr. David Markenson, President, Colorado Medical Society:
“We are committed to being part of this process to ensure that physicians have the ability to practice medicine in the way that provides the best care to their patients.

Dan Weaver, Spokesman, UCHealth, Adams County:
Cost shifting is not cost reduction, and we need to focus on cost-reduction efforts that are going to improve quality and actually help our patients be healthier and live better lives.

Debbie Brown, President, Colorado Business Roundtable:
The larger business community agrees that our health care system needs reform to bring down costs and improve access to care, but the unprecedented level of government intervention in the private health care sector being proposed in HB1349 could ultimately do more harm than good. I urge lawmakers to earnestly consider the potential unintended consequences of the state government option and instead focus on market-based reforms and innovation to ensure that every employer and employee in Colorado has access to high-quality, affordable health care.