health care costs

Audience members listen as President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a rally on health insurance reform at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Md., on Sept. 17, 2009. 

In its latest legislative analysis, the Denver-based Common Sense Institute is out with a look at a proposed public option insurance plan Thursday.

The report breaks the issue down into questions and factors lawmakers should consider if the bill is reintroduced, as expected, in the session that reconvenes Feb. 16.

The government-backed policies would compete with private insurers, especially in counties that might have only one company selling health insurance on the independent market.

The below-market rates are expected to come from price caps on hospitals and a crackdown on pharmacy prices.

Hospitals say the proposal could drive some health care facilities, especially in rural regions, to go out of business.

Last year's bill, which was interrupted by the pandemic, would have "cut hospital funding without addressing the underlying cost of delivering health care services or significantly expanding health care coverage to the uninsured," the institute said.

Secondly, the pandemic has caused "triggered a budget crisis" among Colorado hospitals, especially rural hospitals, and further cuts caused by the public option would "worsen an already dire financial situation."

The report also looks at where Colorado ranks on average premiums, already lowered by other Polis administration work, as well as how the public option has affected rates elsewhere.

Read the Common Sense Institute report by clicking here.

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