Summit Daily letters: ColoradoCare supporters can’t answer the tough questions
September 13, 2016
ColoradoCare supporters can't answer the tough questions
Re: Susan Knopf's Sept. 5 article, "Slaying the myths around ColoradoCare and single-payer health care."
I would like to take a closer look at those claims made by Susan and offer an objective response. My opinions are based on thorough research of the proposed ColoradoCare tax plan and they are not paid or endorsed by any political agenda. As a health-care consumer and a health-care provider, I am an advocate for a comprehensive, true single-payer system. ColoradoCare is not that system.
It is true that ColoradoCare taxes will replace some expenses for which you already pay. However, it is inaccurate to state that ColoradoCare will provide the same service for less money; this claim has not been proven true and true cost will vary widely according to each individual situation. I encourage Coloradans to consult a tax professional, not an online calculator provided by ColoradoCare, for the most accurate estimate of what ColoradoCare will cost you.
Claiming ColoradoCare will provide the same or better coverage is yet another claim that ColoradoCare supporters cannot prove. In order to receive exemption from the Affordable Care Act, ColoradoCare must provide "Silver Plan" coverage. Whether platinum-level coverage is realistic or attainable has yet to be proven. It is hard to say with any certainty what our coverage will look like under ColoradoCare and anyone stating otherwise should certainly be questioned. Don't take my word for it, see Section 6 of the ColoradoCare proposal for a vague outline of coverage.
ColoradoCare is based on a model that is hard to predict and it is based on uncertain projections and a best-case scenario of how the system could maybe play out. What happens when ColoradoCare reaches the predicted $7.8 billion deficit in a matter of 10 years as predicted by the Colorado Health Institute's (CHI) latest independent analysis? One of three things can happen when it comes to the deficits realized by ColoradoCare; taxes may increase, coverage may decrease, or provider compensation may decrease. ColoradoCare refuted CHI's independent analysis with a self-produced analysis saying "trust us." The truth is, these are uncharted waters and no one can guarantee the outcome.
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Advocates of ColoradoCare claim that you will be covered outside of the state of Colorado. This could not be further from the truth. The truth is, other than emergency services, we don't know what will be covered by ColoradoCare when seeking care outside of Colorado. Policies regarding coverage outside the state are yet to be determined.
Let me provide a real life example of why, as a health-care consumer, I am not willing to accept the vague terms set forth by ColoradoCare when it comes to my health-care coverage. Approximately a year and a half ago, I discovered a lump in my abdominal muscle. I was diagnosed with a rare (three in a million) Desmoid Tumor thought to have been related to my latest pregnancy. Due to its rare nature, I decided to seek care in another state at the James Cancer Center in Ohio to undergo surgery from the world renowned surgeon Dr. Raphael Pollock. In a matter of weeks, I obtained care in another state with a provider of my choosing. I was able to do this because I have private insurance that is recognized by a very broad spectrum of providers throughout the United States.
How is this relevant? ColoradoCare boasts that you will have complete freedom of choice when it comes to providers and care. This claim is yet to be proven.
Would ColoradoCare support my decision to seek treatment in another state by the best surgeon for my unique situation? Will ColoradoCare limit my choice of providers just as participants of Medicare and Medicaid experience? Will my trusted providers for family and myself remain in Colorado if ColoradoCare were to pass? Will Colorado be able to attract America's brightest doctors with the high taxation, potential for statewide limits on care and limited compensation? These are all questions we should be asking ourselves when looking at the issues surrounding ColoradoCare. These are all questions that should have answers before we determine if ColoradoCare will serve our health-care needs. I implore all Colorado residents to read the full 12- page document and determine if ColoradoCare is the right choice for you and your family's medical future and health.
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