Liz Gelardi, Denver Channel 7

DENVER — Bernie Schmeits isn’t a professional lobbyist but she went to the Colorado State Capitol Thursday in hopes of talking with lawmakers about health care. She waited outside the House chamber until she finally got the chance to bring up out-of-pocket costs with her representative.

“I worry about that myself. If I had some catastrophic illness or was diagnosed with something, would I go?” said Schmeits.

Schmeits is just one of dozens who took part in the Health Care Day of Action.

“I work with seniors that are being devastated by the cost and it’s ridiculous,” said Schmeits.

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is encouraging constituents to communicate with their legislators in-person. As part of the day, CCHI held a session about being a citizens advocate and how to effectively lobby. Additional information, including tips for talking with your lawmaker can be found here.

“It’s much better than being one of a thousand emails that they’re receiving on the same subject, and it’s much more meaningful if you make the effort to come down here to talk to them about the issues that you’re really concerned about,” said Fox.

Fox and other advocates for stronger health care policy point to the fact that Colorado has some of the highest individual insurance premiums in the county. Cost is a factor when it comes to obtaining care, one and five Coloradans went without needed care because they couldn’t afford it.

“Our legislators have a very direct impact on what we are paying for healthcare costs and the reality is they need to be doing more and we hope that they will that session,” said Fox.

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