Hallman: Summit County health insurance costs are unacceptable
Ryan Summerlin May 6, 2014
Thank you, Commissions Gibbs and Davidson for taking on the issue of Summit County’s obscenely high health insurance premiums for many singles and families under the Affordable Care Act, as administered in Colorado. It’s about time somebody did. Summit County’s high premiums were fully preventable.
I support merging and reducing the number of health insurance exchange regions. But that’s a small start and may only lower premiums modestly. What needs to be done is to merge the entire State of Colorado into one region. Compared with the Front Range there are not that many people in the rest of Colorado. So doing the numbers, under a one region plan, city folks would all pay slightly more, and people in rural and resort Colorado would pay a lot less; or more to the point struggling families in outlying regions could survive without going broke because of the cost of health insurance.
The purpose of insurance is to share the burden. So why not share the same pool throughout the state? After all, we are all Coloradans. I’m pretty sure the insurance companies will come up with any number of fancy reasons why this can’t happen. Or maybe there’s something in the federal or state laws preventing a single statewide pool that needs to be changed? I don’t think so.
Wasn’t the point of the Affordable Care Act to put pretty much everybody in the same medical insurance pool, with the purpose of reasonably priced medical insurance coverage for everybody? So why not do it here in Colorado? Why not create one state-wide health insurance exchange pool, resulting in reasonably priced coverage for everybody? Do the Governor and Insurance Commissioner not care about Summit County? Or are they more afraid of offending big insurance companies than they are of putting any number of hardworking Summit County singles and families in a financial jam?
Governor Hickenlooper I voted for you, now I’m asking you to take a leadership role on this issue. You are the Governor and you have the power to make this right.
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