Letter to the editor: The Democrats’ false dilemma on health care policy
The debate over the future of health care policy between progressives and conservatives is headed down one of two paths. As summarized by the Health Policy Consensus Group, “One path is largely controlled by the government and strewn with empty promises. The other is controlled by you and doctors, leading to more choices, lower costs, and improved quality and access.” Remember when Barack Obama promised the Affordable Care Act would lower premiums $2,500 and if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan? From 2013-2019, the number of insurers offering coverage in the state individual markets decreased from 395 to 202 while from 2013-2018 the national average monthly premium per member increased from $244 to $550. When conservatives, including Sen. Cory Gardner, vote to repeal and replace the ACA, it is not because they oppose preexisting condition coverage. It is because the ACA’s one-size-fits-all solution has resulted in increased premiums with fewer choices. For John Hickenlooper to run a media campaign accusing Gardner of opposing coverage of preexisting conditions is disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst. Conservatives believe that the role of government should be restricted to providing a regulatory framework that allows the private market to provide patient-centered coverage that will be more cost efficient and effective than the centralized control ACA model. Examples include Gardner’s assistance in securing the federal waiver for Colorado’s reinsurance program that protects the most vulnerable while lowering costs for everyone else, sponsoring the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act of 2019 that allows expanded use of telehealth options, and his introduced legislation to protect preexisting conditions. Hickenlooper’s government-run solutions are not the answer to improving health care delivery and lowering costs.
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