Colorado Democrats announce bills to further regulate health care | Colorado

(The Center Square) – Months after Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis praised the health care business’s collaborative reaction to the pandemic, he joined lawmakers and group contributors in selling law to further regulate the business.

“I think everybody up here believes in having great hospitals here in Colorado,” Polis informed newshounds at a Thursday press convention. “We want to make sure we address all aspects of the high cost of health care. No particular group is being singled out because we’re calling out all those that lead to these crises. It’s pharmaceutical, it’s hospitals, it’s insurers. It’s every driver here.”

“So this is not something that can be fixed by going after one particular cost driver,” he added. “You need a comprehensive approach and of course hospitals are part of that discussion because they’re one of the types of major caregivers in our state.”

The legislative package deal will center of attention on decreasing prescription drug prices, sanatorium prices, health insurance coverage premiums and strengthening the health care team of workers.

Colorado Democrats in 2021 established the “Colorado Option,” which calls for health insurance coverage carriers to be offering a standardized plan at diminished costs. The program has confronted scrutiny from inside the business. 

Democratic Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, who discussed she underwent a number of most cancers therapies way back to 1988, mentioned Coloradans ceaselessly revel in overwhelming monetary burdens from scientific therapies.

“We call it financial toxicity, but in simple terms, it’s about how the burden of high health care costs can impact a person’s quality of life,” Primavera mentioned. “Newly diagnosed cancer patients will use about 30% of their income to cover out of pocket treatment costs. For some patients, medical bills can total over $100,000 annually, and cancer patients aren’t the only people dealing with these high costs.”

Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder, mentioned communities must be allowed to dictate how nonprofit hospitals allocate surplus income.

“Some minimal amount has got to go toward the community benefits that your community actually wants,” Amabile mentioned.

Polis mentioned the law must supply transparency and regulate the state’s skill to designate nonprofit standing to hospitals.

“What we’re talking about here is representative of modeling, what you need to do to make sure you’re a bonified nonprofit operator in the state of Colorado,” Polis mentioned.

A media unlock from Polis’s place of work mentioned nonprofit hospitals make billions greater than they spend every yr and the excess must be invested again into communities. The law will require surplus income move towards decreasing shopper costs and build up get right of entry to to health care.

“It’s about what you do with the profits you received,” Polis mentioned. “Again, it’s called nonprofit. It doesn’t mean you make profits. You don’t pay taxes on the profits. But if your revenues exceed expenses, you have a profit. And how that is used is absolutely part of the discussion around what you need to do to be a nonprofit in the state of Colorado.”

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