Governor Jared Polis rolled out a detailed plan on Thursday morning for reducing health care costs in Colorado called the “Roadmap to Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care.”
In an event at Denver Health Medical Center, Polis outlined a proposal that includes several pieces of legislation currently making their way through the State Capitol. As KOAA News reports:
Polis already signed a hospital transparency bill into law last week. That law requires hospitals to report their annual spending and expenditures as part of an effort to lower health care prices.
There are already bills going through the legislature to import prescription drugs from Canada and introduce a reinsurance pool designed to lower premiums for private insurers.
In addition to short-term solutions, Polis also mentioned plans to incentivize preventative care, introduce healthy options to children at schools, improve immunization rates and introduce a separate plan to address behavioral health.
Here’s more detail from a press release:
“Health care costs too much,” said Governor Jared Polis. “No Coloradan should have to go without care because they can’t afford it. This roadmap will be our guide to saving people money on healthcare and ensuring better access to affordable care for everyone in our state.”
Colorado has taken significant steps to increase access to health care and insurance coverage during the past decade. As a result, today only 6.5 percent of Coloradans don’t have health insurance compared to 15.8 percent in 2013. Despite this improvement, the cost of care has been increasing at an alarming rate, especially in rural areas and mountain communities.
All of the central legislative efforts outlined in Polis’ health care proposal have bipartisan support. In other words, these are all bills that could have been shepherded through the legislative process at any point in the last several years.
The reason you aren’t already saving more money on health care costs is because that would have required Senate Republicans to do something other than obstructing Democratic bills and obfuscating about sexual harassment with their one-seat majority in 2017 and 2018. Republicans such as former Senate President Kevin Grantham liked to say that they served as a “check” on Democratic control; in reality, they were an obstacle to reasonable discussions about all sorts of common-sense legislative approaches.
There is absolutely no way that these health care savings efforts would have been produced without Colorado voters giving Democrats both a majority and a mandate in November 2018. The right leadership matters. Elections matter.