GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The biggest healthcare bill in the state has passed the House which is also the biggest topic of debate. Dr. Scott Nelson is a volunteer and a Protect Healthcare committee member in support of the bill. Dr. Nelson says, “Something has to be done about American medicine and it doesn’t require perfection. It just requires a step in the right direction.”
He supports the Colorado Healthcare Bill that would save Coloradans 18% on health insurance, but a lawmaker says it will hurt the doctors and the patients and you better be Coloradans. Colorado State Representative, Janice Rich (R) for District 55 says, “If you, as a patient have this option, and you go out of state and expect to use it, you won’t be able to.”
She says 67 Mesa County stakeholders are against the bill and says 7,000 members of the Colorado Medical Society also say nay. “Three out of four physicians are in opposition to this bill,” said Rich.
Now, meet the one in support, physician number four. Dr. Lauri Costello, a Protect Healthcare committee member says, “We spend two to three times more money than any other country for worse care and all of that money is going to profit.”
One of the changes to the bill is legislators took out the word “option” and it’s a good thing too because it’s not an option, it’s a mandate. But, some doctors say the health mandate will help the patients. “It could mean the difference between families getting the relief they need and leading rewarding lives,” said Dr. Nelson.
While some Western Slope lawmakers say it’s going to hurt the hospitals by robbing Peter to pay Paul, and by the way, large hospitals aren’t Peter. It’s the little guy. “Our rural hospitals could very well go under trying to put this into place,” said Rich.
The Colorado Public Healthcare Option has turned into the Colorado Healthcare Bill and this healthcare debate has turned into a money argument. “Healthcare can be higher quality at a lower cost and we want to show how that can be done,” said Dr. Costello. Representative Rich says, “The Colorado Option is going to give the authority to the unelected insurance commissioner.”
If amendments are made to the bill then it goes back to the House for lawmakers to agree or disagree on those amendments yet again.