HCPF’s Cost Shift Report Points to Need for a Public Option
“A windfall of funding for hospitals; profits up 280%”
DENVER – Today’s release of the “Cost Shift Analysis Report” from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Funding shows that the state needs to hold hospitals accountable to do more to address health care costs and affordability. The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative says that the best way to start reining in sky-rocketing hospital and industry profits is with the implementation of a public option for coverage.
The report notes that Colorado is among the most expensive states for health care largely due to hospitals, stating that hospital profits have increased by more than 280% from 2008-2019 and that there has been a “windfall of funding for hospitals.” This is in spite of hospitals promising to pass savings on to consumers after the state has passed several policies from which they have benefited greatly.
In response, Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, released this statement:
“The problem is that hospitals are raking in record-high profits while everyday Coloradans suffer from high health care costs. Colorado hospitals enjoy the second-highest profits in the country, and this report shows why we need a public option that holds hospitals accountable and makes health coverage more affordable.
“It’s time to address the high underlying health care costs from hospitals. There are hard-working people all across this state who cannot afford insurance because skyrocketing prices are being passed through to increased insurance premiums. The profit-first status quo of some hospitals in the state is a primary driver of the escalating and unreasonable costs of health care.
“The best way to start reining in sky-rocketing hospital profits is with the implementation of a public option plan. A public option puts Colorado taxpayers first while maintaining healthy profitability for hospitals and protecting rural and critical access hospitals.
“We can work together to help drive costs down. Hospitals and carriers are valued partners but Colorado taxpayers need them to step up, be a part of the solution, and value patients over profits.
“Despite the lies and scare tactics of the hospitals and others in the healthcare industry, the facts are clear: by giving consumers another choice and setting fair payments for hospitals, a public option drives costs down and ensures that Coloradans in rural areas have more than one insurance provider to choose from.”
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that represents 40+ Colorado health organizations with more than 500,000 health care consumers advocating for equitable access to high-quality, affordable health care. In 2018, CCHI received the “Get Wise” Consumer Protection award from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).