Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission Presents Health Insurance Proposals

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Healthcare Reform on Wednesday presented to lawmakers the five health care proposalsbeing considered to expand health coverage to the state's estimated792,000 uninsured residents, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports (Sealover, Colorado Springs Gazette, 9/12). Two of the proposals, created by the Colorado State Association for Health Underwriters and the Committee for Colorado Health Solutions, would require all state residents to obtain health insurance.


Underthe plans, the state would provide subsidies to residents who cannotafford to obtain health insurance. A third plan proposed by the Health Care for All Colorado Coalition would establish a single-payer health care system administered by the state, and a fourth plan proposed by the Service Employees International Union would expand state health insurance programs and establish a largehealth insurance purchasing pool. The fifth proposal also would requireall state residents to obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty.

Inaddition, the plan would expand the state Medicaid program and wouldprovide subsidies to help low-income residents purchase healthinsurance. The plan also would require private health insurers in thestate to offer several low-cost, limited-coverage plans capped at$50,000 in benefits (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 9/12).

Democratswho attended the 90-minute hearing lauded the commission's efforts tofind solutions to Colorado's uninsured problem. However, the "fewRepublicans who attended" maintain that the commission is "exceedingthe scope of its duties and considering plans the public will notaccept," the Gazette reports. The commission plans todraft a final evaluation of the proposals and present it to the stateLegislature in January 2008. Meanwhile, the commission will continue tohold public hearings on the proposals (Colorado Springs Gazette, 9/12).

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