Eric Galatas, Public News Service

The numbers are in for Obamacare in Colorado. The percentage of uninsured has dropped from 17 percent to 11 percent, more than 150,000 signed up through Connect for Health Colorado, and 70,000 more were added through Medicaid expansion.

Increased coverage is good news, said Lynn Quincy, associate director for health policy at Consumers Union, since people with insurance are charged more when the uninsured can’t pay for care. However, she said, there’s still a long way to go to bring down costs.”Of everything we spend on goods and services, 17 percent of it goes to health care,” she said, “That means 17 percent of your dollars go to health care, even if you didn’t go to the doctor last year.”

Quincy said Americans are overpaying by up to 30 percent for health care, and that she believes a more coordinated approach is needed to keep costs under control. She added that creating incentives for patients to seek preventive care by eliminating copays would save more money in the long term.

Quincy was a panelist at Tuesday’s “Colorado Voices for Coverage” conference, organized by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. The event focused on how the state can maintain the health coverage it has gained and further expand coverage and access under the Affordable Care Act.

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