North Denver News, March 29, 2016
As in the rest of the United States, Coloradans currently spend much more on health-care per person than people living in other developed countries. However, this extra spending is not buying us longer, healthier lives. Why are we getting so little bang for our buck?
Our current health care system is built around private insurance companies and their mazes of deductibles, copayments, out-of-network providers, and differentiated reimbursement schemes. This inefficient corporate bureaucracy – which makes it difficult for patients to access care and expensive for providers to file claims and collect payments – eats up over 20 cents of every health care dollar.
From an economic perspective, the case for ColoradoCare is straightforward. ColoradoCare provides a plan to streamline our state’s health care system. If voters approve Amendment 69 this November, the state will transition from our current web of private health insurers towards the sort of health care system enjoyed by the rest of the developed world. Then again, you don’t have to look to other countries to understand how ColoradoCare would work. Just as Medicare provides health care for all Colorado residents over the age of 65, ColoradoCare would cover the rest of us.
ColoradoCare would generate significant savings for most Coloradans. The plan eliminates health insurance premiums and deductibles and replaces them with a new 3.33 percent payroll deduction for employees, while employers pay 6.67 percent. A typical Coloradan working fulltime at the median wage of $18 an hour would pay $1,199 in health care premium taxes under ColoradoCare, compared to the current cost of purchasing a Gold Plan on Colorado’s health exchange — about $5,000 in premiums and up to $6,850 in annual out-of-pocket costs. ColoradoCare’s handy, online calculator at www.ColoradoCare.org/calculator shows that this worker would save anywhere from $3,794 to $10,644 a year in health care costs. The savings for families with kids would be even greater..