As I travel across Colorado’s 64 counties, a key concern of many Coloradans is the rising costs of health care. But let’s be clear, a government-run, single-payer health care program will result in higher taxes and less choices. It will bankrupt Colorado and drive families and businesses out of our state.
As Governor, I will focus on improving quality and reducing the costs of health care in Colorado by working with a variety of groups and individuals to drive innovation, increase transparency, and improve the delivery of care to make health care more accessible.
Our system needs to emphasize improving primary and preventive care. We must take proactive steps to promote healthy lifestyles and monitor health conditions before they become crises in the emergency room. A key component of this preventive care is greater integration of mental, behavioral, and physical health. Colorado is making inroads on this front and I will direct my administration to continue these efforts.
We also need to focus on outcomes-based systems for our publicly administered programs and work to reduce costs. Medicaid covers nearly 1.4 million people in Colorado and is one of the largest parts of our state budget. As associated costs have grown, it has crowded out funding for our schools and roads. More can be done to improve our administrative processes, delivery of care, and patient-education to make improvements without sacrificing quality. Critically, we must work with a broad coalition of partners across the health care landscape, from patients and doctors to hospitals and payers, so as to not shift costs from the government’s programs onto consumers. I will work with the Legislature and evaluate the models other states have implemented to bring about necessary reforms.
No family should be stuck with the decision of paying their mortgage or paying for health care. Too often these rising costs are preventing Coloradans from fulfilling the American dream of owning a home. We must create more choice and access for families in the types of coverage they can purchase. We have the ability to be creative and find solutions that work for Coloradans like the expansion of association plans, shorter-term plans, and catastrophic coverage options. In addition, new services like mobile clinics and tele-health will help patients gain access to care, especially in underserved communities. Make no mistake, I will defend patients with pre-existing conditions and continue to allow young adults under 26 to stay on their parents’ coverage. Any proposals to roll back these provisions will be rejected by my administration.