Healthcare Consumer Advocates Urge JBC & Legislature to Support a Public Option
DENVER – This morning, in advance of today’s meeting of the Joint Budget Committee, a coalition of over two dozen leading healthcare groups and consumer-advocates called upon the Colorado legislature to create a public option solution to address the state’s health care cost crisis.
“Despite the scare tactics of the healthcare industry, a public option will drive down costs and ensure that Coloradans in rural areas have more than one insurance provider to choose from while holding the health care industry accountable,” said Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “Hospitals and carriers are valued partners but Colorado taxpayers need them to step up, be a part of the solution, and value patients over excessive profits.”
“Coloradans want more affordable healthcare options, and the proposed public option would give them one,” said Jake Williams, executive director of Healthier Colorado. “Business as usual benefits the bottom lines of big players in the healthcare industry, but it squeezes the finances of thousands of Colorado families, driving too many to forego needed care and coverage. It’s time to put the needs of Coloradans first, especially those living in Colorado’s rural and mountain communities, while maintaining a competitive market.”
The letter(attached) reads, in part:
“… rising health care costs are creating a true crisis for Colorado families. To this end we ask for your consideration and support in creating a more affordable health insurance alternative…. [we need] a public option because we sincerely believe that the 90% of uninsured Coloradans who list cost as the primary reason they lack coverage need more affordable options. We also know that nearly 20% of all Coloradans face significant financial burdens when it comes to accessing care…. A public option has the potential to increase access and affordability for both Colorado’s uninsured and underinsured….
We understand that members of the health care industry are raising a number of concerns and putting a great deal of resources behind opposing this idea, even before a bill has been drafted. We are committed to finding a feasible solution that puts patients first….
We are a diverse group of organizations with different missions, but we are united behind supporting a public option solution.