10 January 2008

HCAC questions report

The Northern Colorado Business Report ran this article on the 208 Commission, which is meeting today to go over their final report to the Colorado Legislature:

DENVER -- A group of health-care professionals who offered one of four proposals selected for review by the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform released a statement Jan. 7 that said it has "deep concerns" about the draft recommendations that appear headed to the state Legislature later this month.

Board members of the Health Care for All Colorado Coalition, which submitted the Colorado Health Services Program proposal to the commission -- sometimes called the 208 Commission -- said the recommendations that are making their way to the Legislature on Jan. 31 won't cover all Coloradans or cut the administrative costs continually increasing health-care premiums.

Board member Michele Swenson said the 208 Commission recommendations fail to address the rising cost of health insurance premiums and would provide taxpayer subsidies to private insurance companies by requiring the purchase of a "minimum-benefit plan."

"They're moving people into minimum-benefit plans and they don't protect families adequately against health and financial risk," Swenson said. "The bottom line is, do we want to increase the bottom line of the insurance industry or increase health-care coverage for all?"

The Health Care for All Colorado proposal was the only single-payer proposal that automatically covered everyone in the state. A financial analysis showed the plan could save about $1.4 billion annually in state health-care spending but would also be the most expensive to implement, costing about $15 billion in new spending to set up.

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