Wednesday, March 2. 2011
On Monday, a Senate committee approved a new bill that will provide Colorado with a universal healthcare system.
The bill, referred to as Senate Bill 168, was proposed by Senator Irene Aguilar and will aim to eliminate private insurance in the state’s system. The bill would effectively establish a legislative body, the Colorado Health Care Authority, that would design a healthcare cooperative and recommend a healthcare system for this cooperative to run. Once this system is agreed upon, the state’s voters will then be able to approve or deny the motion by 2013.
According to Aguilar, more than 250,000 Colorado residents could be without affordable health insurance by 2019. With this new cooperative, Aguilar aims to cut costs and offer incentives to those healthcare providers who keep these costs low.
Arguments against the bill focus on the potential loss of jobs in the private insurance sector. According to Mark Reese, the associate director at the Colorado Association of Health Plans, roughly 20,000 jobs could be cut if SB168 passes.
Regardless, Aguilar will continue forward with her bill, hoping to reduce the number of Colorado residents, as well as the national figure, without insurance. Despite these estimated figures being high, a recent report relayed healthcare quality has improved at about 2.3 percent a year.