William Scanlon, Vail Daily

Sometimes Obamacare stories have happy endings, even in the mountain valleys of Colorado. And they are reminders of the potentially disastrous consequences of attempts to dismantle Obamacare, piecemeal or wholesale.

Last year, Richard Backe, of Glenwood Springs, testified that health-care costs for his family were so crushing that he might have to shut down his construction business and move to Denver where premiums were about half the price he was paying. Last year, his family’s premiums were $1,540 per month; for this year, he was looking at $2,100.

But then Backe discovered that he qualified for a tax credit through Connect for Health Colorado because his family’s income was under — barely — 400 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Now, his monthly premiums are relatively reasonable and he’s staying put. And while he thinks the Affordable Care Act needs improvement, he has vowed to campaign against any politicians who “are a part of dismantling this good law.”


That catch-up can hurt, especially for those who get no financial help to pay for premiums. “But that doesn’t mean the market is broken,” said Downs.

Experts who devote their lives to trying to rein in health care costs say it’s hard to say which lever should be pulled at any given time. “So many things are contributing to the cost conundrum,” said Adele Flores-Brennan, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, a consumer-oriented health advocacy organization.

Read the full article here.

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