Governor Jared Polis says his road map to a better health care system is already under way, with the recent signing of the hospital transparency bill into law.
“[It’s] the very first piece of our road map to saving people money on healthcare,” Polis said during a press conference Thursday.
He’s voiced support for nearly a dozen other bills, which fall in line with his short term goals–things like lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and reducing both premiums and out of pocket costs.
“We are working with our legislative champions to reduce out of pocket costs, by improving consumer protections–like surprise out of network billing,” Polis said.
“This is where someone might have a bruise or dog bite and go in and get a band aid or get a stitch–and wind up with an $8,000 bill that insurance won’t cover. This has to end.”
Long term goals include launching a state-backed insurance, and rewarding prevention in primary care.
“All of these things do make sense and they should reduce costs moving forward,” said local Economist Tatiana Bailey. Bailey is currently the Director of the UCCS economic forum.
“The issue, though, is as you roll all of this out, suddenly you have all of these new people in the system. At least in the first 2-3 years, you’re going to have an increase in costs. And that is indeed what we saw with the Affordable Care Act,” she explained.
Bailey doesn’t believe those costs will be as big of an issue for Colorado, considering only 6.5% of the state’s population are uninsured.
It still raises two big questions: how much will this cost, and who pays for it?
“I’d like to see it line by line,” said Bailey. “If we’re going to increase this type of screening for everyone–how much of that is covered? And how much isn’t? And for that amount that isn’t covered, what is that going to cost taxpayers? And what do we think the return is going to be?”
The road map does not include those figures at this point, but does say it will lower the cost of health insurance for Coloradoans–estimating up to a 40% reduction for those living in rural and front range counties.
To view the 10-page road map, click here.