Colorado Commission Recommends Health Insurance Plan Similar To Massachusetts'

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The Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reformon Monday voted 20-2 to approve a set of recommendations that includesrequiring state residents to obtain health insurance or pay a taxpenalty, the Denver Postreports. The panel also will recommend expanding eligibility for statehealth programs. The panel's recommendations will be presented to statelawmakers on Jan. 31, 2008.

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The commission reviewed five health care proposals,and the recommendations closely resemble the proposal developed by thepanel and are similar to Massachusetts' health insurance law.

Thepackage would cost an estimated $1.1 billion and would expand coverageto 696,000 of the state's 792,000 uninsured residents. Residents wouldbe required to obtain private insurance, unless they qualify for publicprograms, such as Medicare and Medicaid. The state also would providesubsidies to help some residents purchase private insurance, accordingto the recommendations. The proposal would bar insurers from denyingcoverage to sick applicants and would require employers to offer pretaxplans for employee health coverage.

Gov. Bill Ritter (D) and state Democrats have discussed a tax increase to pay for a health system overhaul (Brown, Denver Post, 11/20).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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