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First statewide universal coverage: can it happen?

PA's Proteus Duxbury and Kyla Hoskins, healthcare experts, are quoted in an article in Managed Healthcare Executive. The article discusses whether Colorado voters should pass ColoradoCare in the November election, which would require the state to pay for universal healthcare for its residents.

Commenting on this, Proteus said: Access has increased within Colorado but this has not bent the cost curve of care delivery. The ACA really hasn’t contained costs and consumers are paying more and more out of pocket for their care. Newly insured people are finding it difficult to navigate the system, understand how to purchase the right insurance plan and, more importantly, how to utilize it in a cost efficient way.”

Proteus continued: “The failure of the Colorado HealthOP [health insurance co-op] late last year to remain financially viable has almost certainly also had an upward impact on the cost of on-exchange plans within the state. The CO-OP program was designed to help create nonprofit, member-controlled health insurance plans that offer ACA-compliant policies in the individual and small business markets.”

Kyla also weighed in, stating: “Colorado is one of a handful of states where Medicaid does not contract with commercial insurance companies to administer the program, so their role could be significantly reduced.”

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Kyla went on to say: “If it does pass the ballot, it will still need to be submitted to the federal government—HHS and IRS—via an ACA Section 1332 Innovation Waiver. The federal government must then approve Colorado’s plan in order for it to be implemented. Hillary Clinton has publicly said she is against the measure because it would increase taxes on the middle class.”

Kyla concluded: “There is a fear that if this was to happen, sick people would move to Colorado to take advantage of free healthcare. Moving to a single-payer model state by state does not make sense. It really has to be tackled nationally.”



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