What a Difference a Year Makes in Colorado’s Case for a Public Option Plan
By Editor - Thu Apr 29, 3:02 am
DENVER — Before the pandemic, Colorado looked set to become the second state to pass what’s known as a “public option” health insurance plan, which would have forced hospitals that lawmakers said were raking in obscene profits to accept lower payments. But when covid-19 struck, legislators hit pause. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. Now, after a year of much public lionizing of doctors and other health professionals on the front lines of the covid fight, it’s a lot harder to make the case hospitals are fleecing patients. “It is much more difficult now that we have this narrative of the health care heroes,” said Sarah McAfee , director of communications for the Center for Health Progress, a Denver-based health advocacy organization that pushed for the public option. “Part of this is separating the two: The people who are providing the health care are not the same as the corporations who are focused on the bottom line.” Colorado legislators had tried to walk a tightrope, targeting their criticism toward the business side of the industry while continuing to praise front-line health workers and trying to get buy-in from all sides. But on Monday, Democratic legislators said they’d made a deal with the health industry to scrap the public option and instead mandate lower premiums for those buying coverage on the individual or small-group markets. The bill still must be approved.
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