Colorado Chamber Urges State Agencies to Focus on Consumer Choice & Controlling Costs in Health Care

The Colorado Chamber submitted comments this week to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) and the Division of Insurance (DOI) regarding the establishment of a public option health care program which you can also check out here. The HCPF and DOI have been holding stakeholder meetings throughout the summer following the passage of HB 19-1004 this legislative session, which directed them to develop a proposal for creating a public health insurance coverage option at the state level.

In the letter from the Colorado Chamber, Senior Vice President Loren Furman emphasized the importance of consumer choice and controlling costs of such a program.

“One of the biggest priorities for the Colorado Chamber is to ensure that every employer and employee in Colorado has access to high-quality, affordable health care,” Furman said. “We would therefore urge DOI and HCPF to seek out ways keep costs low for workers and employers as it considers a public option program. For example, we believe that to achieve high quality, affordable health care, the public option program should protect consumer choice; begin with a limited approach, avoid cost shifting and utilize alternative payment models.”

The Colorado Chamber represents hundreds of businesses across the state of all sizes, including many trade associations, economic development organizations, and local chambers of commerce. Its members also include several companies that operate in the health care industry and provide healthcare benefits for millions of workers and employers across the state.

The Colorado Chamber’s comments come after a report released this week by the REMI Partnership and Common Sense Business Roundtable, which warns that a public option based on HB 19-1004 could lead to job losses in Colorado and have unintended consequences based on similar programs that have been proposed in other states.

The HCPF and DOI will be releasing their proposal regarding the establishment of a state option for health insurance by the end of this month. It is also possible that legislation could be introduced during the 2020 Legislative Session to implement any recommendations by the state agencies.