Category Archives: Colorado health care

Colorado Health Exchange premiums ~ equal to high-risk pool premiums, and you can’t keep your doctor.

Linda Gorman describes how the so-called Affordable Care Act required one Coloradan to leave Colorado’s high-risk pool for a plan on Colorado’s health insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado.  The premiums are similar, but the exchange plan’s a narrow physician network did not include her doctor.  Read more: Colorado Health Exchange Premiums Roughly Equal to Those of High Risk Pool | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.

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Colorado Senate Bill 14-016 a boost to health care cronyism

In the Greeley Tribune, Linda Gorman writes:

Some Colorado legislators have shown impeccable timing in seeking to exacerbate the problem. Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, have introduced Senate Bill 016, which would force the closure of already existing freestanding emergency rooms unless they are owned by a hospital. SB 016 provides an exemption for emergency rooms more than 25 miles from a licensed hospital. Given the geographic structure of the Front Range corridor, however, the practical effect of the bill would be to give hospitals monopoly control of all emergency facilities. …

Colorado’s hospitals are big businesses. As the bill to close competitive emergency rooms shows, they would rather outlaw competitors than outproduce them. Colorado legislators need to remember that handing hospitals a monopoly over freestanding emergency rooms does not serve the best interests of their constituents. It will increase health care costs while reducing health care access, and increase the pain for ordinary citizens already suffering from Obamacare cost increases.

More: Gorman: Senate Bill 016 a boost to health care cronyism in Colorado | GreeleyTribune.com.

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‘Risks’ loom for Colorado health exchange technology

Health Policy Solutions Reports:

As Colorado’s health exchange managers sprint toward an October 1 launch, a top manager warned board members on Monday that a recent decision to build a new “eligibility” IT system poses the greatest risk of delay and could undermine the quality of the online health marketplace.

Adele Work, who is leading implementation for the exchange, made a presentation about “key implementation risks” during a technology update for the board.

More: ‘Risks’ loom for health exchange technology | Health Policy Solutions.

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Colorado Health Benefits Exchange: poor access & narrow provider network?

At Forbes, Scott Gottlieb, MD provides a warning for Coloradans who will to buy health coverage through the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange (“Connect for Care Colorado”):

There’s an astute article in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal by veteran healthcare reporter Anna Mathews. It outlines the scope of health plans that will be offered on the new exchanges taking shape this fall. And why Obamacare is looking more and more like Medicaid.

Mathews notes that hospitals are giving up discounts to the new exchange-based health plans. In turn, the hospitals plan to make up these discounts through the narrow networks of providers that consumers will be able to choose from. The bet that these hospitals are making is that they can offset the discounts by getting more volume. …

[Wi]th fewer out-of-pocket costs, consumers will also have far less skin in the game. In turn, they will have less incentive to constrain their demand for services.

That constraint will instead be applied by the providers themselves, through the limitations that they place on access. Not by outright denying care, but by funneling patients into overworked networks that make it much harder to actually get appointments and schedule needed services. This is exactly how rising demand is managed under Medicaid. It’s one more reason why Obamacare coverage is likely to resemble Medicaid over time.

More: The New Obamacare Insurance Is Looking More Like Medicaid – Forbes.

See also: Survey: Medicaid-Level Rates Could Cripple Health Insurance Exchanges.

 

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Tech troubles could hobble Colorado health exchange

Health Policy Solutions reports:

Colorado’s health exchange is supposed to debut in just six months, but having the technology ready by Oct. 1 may be an impossible task.

Critical problems threaten the system, ranging from a lack of coordination with the state’s technology office and historic problems with state IT systems to poor oversight by exchange managers and contractors and the potential for serious conflicts of interest among those charged with creating the complex multi-million dollar exchange system.

More: Tech troubles could hobble health exchange | Health Policy Solutions.

See also Avik Roy at Forbes: “CMS on Obamacare’s Health Insurance Exchanges: ‘Let’s Just Make Sure It’s Not a Third-World Experience‘”

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Mag Ban: A Range Officer’s Safety Perspective of Colorado HB13-1224

Paul Caldara writes:

I have served as a volunteer range officer at a Colorado rifle range for over fifteen years. It is a passion of mine. A range officer is like an air traffic controller, and my first responsibility is safety. I also instruct and assist those who come out to shoot. I want everyone to have a safe and positive shooting experience. Under proposed HB13-1224, the magazine ban bill, I will not be able to continue to volunteer my services without becoming a criminal. Let me explain.

Read more: Mag Ban: A Range Officer’s Safety Perspective | Complete Colorado – Page Two.

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How Colorado’s Medicaid expansion harms patients

Linda Gorman of the Independence Institute writes:

Medicaid expansion would limit access to care for the significant fraction of the currently uninsured who would otherwise be eligible for federal premium subsidies under ObamaCare. It raises costs for state taxpayers, increases costs for people who are hospitalized, and prevents state insurers from collecting millions of dollars in federal subsidy money.

Read more: How Colorado’s Medicaid expansion harms patients | Complete Colorado – Page Two.

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