Polis health care

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks about what his state is doing about health care costs, flanked by other members of the Democratic Governors Association Thursday at the NGA's summer meeting in Salt Lake City.

Colorado's Jared Polis was one of a group of Democratic governors claiming a major success on health care at a national conference Thursday.

"Coloradans, like all Americans, are tired of being ripped off on heath care costs," Polis said at the National Governors Association’s summer meeting in Salt Lake City.

Polis said one of the first things he did after taking office in January was to create the Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare.

The speeches were streamed on Facebook.

Polis put Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera in charge of the office "with a laser focus on everything we can do to save people money on health care," he said.

Polis noted his wins during the legislative session this spring, including creating a reinsurance pool to cover the highest cost clients that could save all ratepayers living in rural areas as much as 30% on their premiums.

He noted that Colorado lawmakers -- the Democrats, anyway -- voted to ask for a federal waiver to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, and to make sure the savings were passed on to consumers in out-of-pocket costs and in lower premiums.

Colorado became the first state to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs, and Polis and the legislature authorized state Attorney General Phil Weiser to investigate what Polis called "price fixing" on insulin by drugmakers.

"Other states are now looking at that model," he boasted.

He talked about the state's new hospital pricing transparency law and the public insurance option created by the Democrats in the General Assembly this year.

"We're very excited about providing more choices for more Coloradans, especially in parts of our state where there are only one or two insurers to choose from," Polis said.

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