Shortly after Bill Ritter was elected governor, he began his plan to fix a big problem in Colorado: 700,000 people without health insurance. He hasn’t given any specific plans on how he is going to go about it yet, but he said he will start looking at a lot of ideas that have been tried and start accepting ideas. Personally, I think he should start working with Senator Ron Wyden (D OR) about his plan.
Naturally, an idea to make such big changes is coming with a lot of criticism from other Colorado lawmakers.
Getting health insurance for all those people is a noble goal, but some say reaching it will be very difficult.“I admire Gov.-elect Ritter for taking on this issue — I think, however, it is a little more challenging than his early statements seem to indicate,” said Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, the assistant Senate minority leader and northern Colorado’s representative on the Joint Budget Committee.Johnson said the JBC chairman, Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, had it right when he said the plan would work, but “only if you don’t do the math.”
What a lot of people seem to forget is that the current system in Colorado has serious problems and they need to quit taking the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude.
The math also shows that Colorado’s current dilemma isn’t exactly saving money, Johnson added. Hospitals and care givers often recoup the money that the uninsured fail to pay toward those who do pay: People who have health insurance or can pay out-of-pocket.That causes bills to health insurance companies to rise, which has resulted in 20 to 30 percent increases in health insurance coverage costs in the past few years, Johnson said.
“So the uninsured problem in Colorado is hurting those with health insurance as well,” he said.