Coloradans, including our state’s Latino community, should be afraid at the chaos engulfing the so-called public option health care bill, HB 1232, in the Colorado legislature.
This is a process now totally driven by ideology and will likely end badly. This is not how we do things in Colorado!
The House-passed version of HB 1232 may be revamped from what its sponsors originally wanted, but it still won’t bring Latinos better, more affordable health care.
It seeks to address sky high insurance premiums in mountain and rural counties based on premium costs data contained in a 2014 report that is badly outdated! In fact, Colorado now has the sixth lowest benchmark premium in the nation. But not for long if the House bill passes.
The HB 1232 creates a state plan that will, according to experts, lead to “narrow networks,” which means less access to care.
And because providers are underpaid on the state plan, it also means everyone else ends up paying higher premiums to compensate for the state shortchanging providers.
As one longtime Colorado health care observer noted:
“House Bill 21-1232 was based on a flawed, ideological premise: That when government officials believe the price of a good or service is too high, those officials can simply mandate a lower price.”
The bill is now in the Senate, where it is in danger of being pulled even further in the wrong direction through various amendments. The infighting is intense. But we all know how these things usually work out when legislators are unable to come together on a bill with the legislative clock winding down.
They will wait until the last minute, when the pressure to get something done before adjourning becomes unbearable.
Then they will cut bad deals in the dead of night to secure the necessary votes, and they will get sloppy, and they will make mistakes, and we’ll end up holding the bag.
There is no consensus on or enthusiasm for this bill. Not among specialists or pediatricians or the unions or the hospitals or some patient groups.
At the end of the day, this bill could put Colorado on the road to a government takeover of the health care system in our state – and we wouldn’t even know it.
Is this going to turn into one of those bills we are going to have to pass this bill to find out what’s in it? Haven’t we been down this road before?
What the bill’s sponsors promised was bad enough. What we could end up with could be much, much worse.
Send an email to your elected officials TODAY telling them this entire process is not the Colorado way, and they should oppose HB 1232.
Better still, if you can, give them a phone call. With your help, we can stop this Trojan Horse before it’s too late.