I recently heard about something called ColoradoCare, a proposed health care financing system that is currently petitioning to be on the 2016 ballot.
I’m the type of guy who always has questions whenever he hears about something new. Now, this ColoradoCare thing is ‘something new.’ It would take the place of Connect For Health Colorado, the State exchange developed under the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), sometimes referred to as Obama Care.
This led me to my first question: Is ColoradoCare taking the place of Obama Care?
So, I went to the website of the people who want to put it on the 2016 ballot: http://coloradocareyes.co/ (or ‘bing’ ColoradoCareYes).
The site pointed out that the ACA provides for states to develop their own innovative health systems. So, it is interesting that Colorado can implement its own system. But, would it be better?
If it both satisfies the petition process and is subsequently approved by voters in 2016, I found out, ColoradoCare would become a resident-owned, non-governmental health care financing system: it would ensure comprehensive, quality, accessible, lifetime health care for every Colorado resident. By design, ColoradoCare would require an elected Board, making it directly accountable to Colorado residents and not the government. ColoradoCare would use a cooperative business model similar to credit unions, rural electric cooperatives, REI, and the Green Bay Packers.
So, owned by the people of the state and providing universal, lifetime, care to all Colorado residents: that sounds promising. It is based on a solid business model.
I guess that answered my question: would it be better?
ColoradoCare would help to implement the spirit of federal reform by making sure everyone in Colorado has great health care. ColoradoCare would be an alternative to the federally mandated Health Insurance Exchange.
Benefits under ColoradoCare would be better than platinum coverage on the health insurance exchange. Under ColoradoCare, there would be no deductibles. Co‐pays, if they exist, could be waived for those in financial need. Every resident of Colorado would be covered. Even so, expert analysis projects that savings in Colorado will more than cover the cost of providing health care to everyone. More extensive dental, vision, hearing, and long‐term care benefits will be available as savings accrue to
That does sound like better service and way more people served. But what about efficiency?
Operating as a non-profit, this consumer cooperative would be collectively owned by its members—all 5.4 million residents of Colorado. The elected Board of Trustees would make ColoradoCare responsive to the people of Colorado. It would not be under the direction of the legislature, Governor, or any state administrative department or agency.
Now, that does sound like it should be more efficient.
According to the website http://coloradocareyes.co/ (or ‘bing’ ColoradoCareYes), the reduction in administrative waste alone will account for $4.9 billion in the first year of full implementation. Overall, the website told me, Colorado individuals would save $1.6 billion and businesses would save $3.1 billion. No deductibles. No co-payments for most primary and preventive care.
So, the coverage would be good?
Well, it seems that coverage will be universal throughout the state. Comprehensive benefits will include primary and specialty care including hospitalization, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Beyond this, mental health and substance use services—including behavioral health treatment—are covered. A full range of other services are paid for including: emergency and urgent care, preventive and wellness services, chronic disease management, and rehabilitative services and devices. ColoradoCare will pay for pediatric care including oral, vision and hearing services; newborn care is also paid. This is also true of palliative and end-of-life care.
Anyway, check it out for yourself at http://coloradocareyes.co/ (or ‘bing’ ColoradoCareYes).
Thanks for reading!
John Eisenhauer is a citizen of Colorado.