(Apr. 17) – This morning, the House approved a bill with strong bipartisan support to address the high costs of health care in Colorado. The bill is sponsored by Western Slope state Representatives Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, and. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon.
SB19-004 will strengthen Colorado’s laws to allow healthcare cooperatives to incorporate consumer protections like coverage for preexisting conditions. It will also allow the State Insurance Commissioner to work with groups seeking to create co-ops so that they can get their co-op up and running as soon as possible.
“The formation of health insurance co-ops across our state where Coloradans collectively negotiate rates directly with providers will help lower the cost of health care,” said Rep. Roberts. “Let’s get this bill to the Governor’s desk so we can start saving people in Colorado money on health care.”
This bipartisan bill will authorize the formation of these co-ops across the state which could result in plans that are significantly cheaper than those available today. The bill will also help lower healthcare costs by encouraging consumers to negotiate rates on a collective basis directly with providers and offer plans to individuals, business, and other groups that are more affordable than what currently exists on the market.
“Without any action on the federal level to the health care crisis, Colorado communities are finding creative, innovative approaches to making health care more accessible,” said Rep. McCluskie. “This bipartisan bill will help provide solutions to the complicated health care challenges hardworking families face everyday.”
Senator Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, is the Senate sponsor of the bill. The Senate approved the bill on a bipartisan vote of 34-to-1 earlier this month.
The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 61-2. The bill now heads back to the Senate to approve amendments adopted in the House.