The Common Sense Policy Roundtable put its eyes on Colorado proposed public option health insurance to see who could save and who could spend more through unintended consequences.
The white paper, titled, "What's at state with the Colorado public option," is available by clicking here.
“The discussion surrounding the establishment of a public option for insurance in Colorado, has driven a thoughtful discussion about health care and many drivers of rising costs, yet those same discussions have limited the scope of trying to solve the problem,” said Chris Brown, the director of policy and research for the economic think tank.
“Focusing exclusively on reducing insurance premiums for some in the individual insurance market via direct government actions, could come at the expense of all other health care stakeholders, including patients, employers, insurance carriers, hospitals and others.”
The public option is expected to be the signature piece of legislation to emerge from the legislative session that began this month. Gov. Jared Polis sees it as critical to creating insurance marketplace competitions, but critics say it's a direct route to price caps and cost-shifting to those with better insurance.
The study asks a series of questions about the possible impacts of a public option across each health care stakeholder group including patients, hospitals, insurance carriers, employers and state government.
The authors of the report contend the proposal only "treats the symptoms" of unaffordable health care.
“Savings resulting from government set rates passed to consumers have to come from somewhere, and by just lowering negotiated rates, without truly addressing underlying costs, a public option stands to benefit a few Colorado consumers, at the expense of every other stakeholder,” stated one of the authors, Richard Rush, the managing partner at GERICK, which consults on health care and health insurance matters.