Summit Daily letters to the editor: Tackling the costs of healthcare
Dudick is the clear choice for council
The Breckenridge Town Council race is on, and there are definitely a number of individuals who standout as worthy representatives for the people of our community.
One of those standouts is Mike Dudick, whom I had the pleasure of serving with on the board of directors for our local Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce a number of years ago.
When we worked together, over a five year period, I found him to be a very strong and concise communicator. He’s tremendously intelligent, well-informed and honest. He’s fair and direct but diplomatic. He works well within a group and has a clear understanding of not only how to read a balance sheet, but also how to keep one balanced. I believe that he’s done a phenomenal job of representing and fighting for the lodging community and small businesses.
Mike gets the big picture and understands the needs of the community, especially in relation to employee housing and our parking and transit problems and has demonstrated to me that he’s willing to work to find viable solutions.
It’s imperative that we elect representatives who will understand both the need to keep our small town feel alive and well, especially with continued development going on in Breckenridge.
I believe that Mike Dudick gets it and has demonstrated his expertise and understanding of the needs of our town over many years serving the community through his service on past councils, boards and giving through charitable contributions.
We need Mike Dudick representing us on town council. Please give him your vote.
The North Face Breckenridge
The Main Street Outlet
The soaring cost of healthcare in the High Country
As everyone knows, the cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is often unaffordable to individuals and families in the resort areas — in fact, we have the dubious distinction of having the highest health insurance premiums in the nation.
While it is true that health care costs more here, it is also due to the way rates are set, which currently means that there are nine major geographic zones and several smaller sub areas that rates are tied to. This means people in the Front Range who depend on individual policies may be paying nearly half as much for insurance as a resident of Eagle, Summitt, Routt, Pitikin, Garfield, Lake or Gunnison County.
There is currently a bill in front of the Colorado House Committee on Health, Insurance and Environment to start the process of determining the feasibility of creating one geographic rating category for the entire state. This means that rates would be equal wherever one lived in the state. While premiums might go up slightly for those in the Front Range cities, they could drop drastically for the rest of the state.
The bill HB-1366 is a starting point and is supported by the County Commissioners in Eagle, Summit, Lake, Pitkin, Routt, Garfield and Gunnison counties. As a long time vocal critic of the rates imposed on residents of mountain communities, I’ve been asked to testify on Thursday, March 24 as to the impacts of the cost of insurance on families in the area. I know of many middle-class families who are now uninsured after having insurance their entire life, and one individual who went medically bankrupt shortly after dropping his insurance because the rates tripled.
To demonstrate the support for reform, I have put up a web page and an online petition for people to sign supporting a change in rating areas to make health insurance rates equal for all. It is http://www.equalrates.com. I would ask everyone who is concerned about paying as much as double for health insurance in the mountain towns to sign and show their support. I will deliver the signatures to the Committee on Thursday, March 24.
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