Good to Know ColoradoCare Name Change: ColoradoCare would provide access to health care

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1 1 Good to Know ColoradoCare Colorado Health Care Cooperative Name Change: The proposal has been renamed ColoradoCare because it is shorter. It s also less likely to be confused with CoHealthOp, the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative. ColoradoCare is improved but substantially the same as the Colorado Health Care Cooperative and will operate as a cooperative- type business in the interests of all resident- owners. ColoradoCare would be a Colorado- grown universal health care system for the state. It would be a health care payment system, run by an elected board of trustees, not the government. It would provide security and lifetime care to most Coloradans, no matter what is happening in their lives, and give them access to and choice in their personal health care at significant savings to individuals and local and state governments. ColoradoCare would provide access to health care. The simplicity of ColoradoCare is that it would pay for health care, not health insurance. Having health insurance does not guarantee a person will get health care. No one would be denied care because of inability to pay or whether you are laid off or a part- time worker. It s guaranteed health care, no matter what is happening in your life. Under the ACA, many people bought insurance policies thinking they would be treated when they needed it. But people who bought inexpensive insurance policies now find they cannot afford the deductibles, co- pays, or co- insurance and are reluctant to visit the doctor because of the cost. When people don t get the care they need, they often go to emergency rooms, which act as a safety net for the uninsured and underinsured. These emergency room services often go unpaid and the costs are shared among all of us. Lack of primary care also means that chronic disease may be untreated and become worse. Benefits under ColoradoCare would be better than platinum coverage on the health insurance exchange. Under ColoradoCare, there would be no deductibles. Co- pays, if they exist, could be waived for those in financial need. Every resident of Colorado would be covered. Even so, expert analysis projects that savings in Colorado will more than cover the cost of providing health care to everyone. More extensive dental, vision, hearing, and long- term care benefits will be available as savings accrue to ColoradoCare. The system would encourage the prevention of disease, timely intervention, and appropriate treatment. Coordinated universal care with no deductibles would help real people prevent chronic disease and help us all be as healthy as we can be.

2 2 ColoradoCare would be run by a board of trustees, not the government. Trustees would be elected locally from the district in which they live. Because ColoradoCare is a cooperative business owned by the people of Colorado, trustees would run for office under clean election rules. Money and politics- as- usual would not play a part in who is elected. In short, ColoradoCare would act in the best interests of its members. A temporary board would be appointed to set up ColoradoCare. The governor, president of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the minority leader of the House each will appoint three trustees to the Interim Board. Colorado would save money over what we are spending now overall. There are several ways ColoradoCare would cost less than the current system without compromising the reason to exist, namely providing for medical treatment. The size of ColoradoCare would enable it to negotiate the cost of medications and medical equipment to get favorable pricing. While protecting individual privacy, ColoradoCare would use centrally collected information to reduce fraud and develop efficiencies. ColoradoCare would be run as a cooperative. There would be no outrageously high executive salaries, shareholder profits, or lobbying expenses. ColoradoCare would provide a simplified bureaucracy and streamlined administration. In our current system, health care bills are sent to a large number of insurance companies each with different plans that are operated to create profit for their shareholders. ColoradoCare would be fiscally responsible Colorado already spends enough money on health care that, if spent wisely, allow every resident would have access to comprehensive coverage. No new spending would be required. Documented savings occur with a coordinated system that decreases administrative costs and increases bulk purchasing and great ideas, enhancing nonmedical cost cutting. Colorado can do health care better than Washington can The current system was designed in Washington under the influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Colorado can design a better system of health care and cover everyone. ColoradoCare would give everyone access to mental health care Mental health care will be treated as health care. ColoradoCare will treat the whole body not just parts of it.

3 3 Health care consumers would have freedom of choice Patients would be able to choose their primary care health care professional. If you don t like your doctor, you can change without worry that your health care provider is out of the network. The system would encourage and reward wellness and the prevention of disease. Value over volume encourages quality, efficiency, and accessibility ColoradoCare would decrease the need for expensive crisis care by encouraging prevention. Patients could afford to see their doctors and take their medications. Instead of paying physicians by the number of tests they perform, ColoradoCare would encourage results, with payments for keeping people healthy according to individual patient values and needs. Great early care is a wise investment that will help more Coloradans live longer, healthier lives at a lower overall cost. Current health care spending is unsustainable Health care spending has climbed faster than wages. If this trend continues, only the wealthy will be able to afford health care. Already many people go without health care, whether or not they have insurance. As many have discovered, having health insurance does not guarantee affordable access to health care. ColoradoCare would make both Coloradans and the Colorado economy healthier and more secure. Doctors and health care providers would benefit from ColoradoCare Health care professionals would benefit because they would not have to waste time billing scores of insurance companies with hundreds of different plans. Billing and insurance- related costs and time would be slashed. Your doctor would focus on your care, not who would pay your bill. Providers need to be reimbursed for their services. With ColoradoCare, they would get paid, thus ending uncompensated care. ColoradoCare would extend the gains of the federal Affordable Care Act by reducing costs and covering everyone The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for states to develop their own innovative health systems. ColoradoCare would help to implement the spirit of federal reform by making sure everyone in Colorado has great health care. ColoradoCare would be an alternative to the federally mandated Health Insurance Exchange. Funding for ColoradoCare would be fair everyone pays and everyone benefits Premiums would be collected as taxes on employers, employees, and individuals, based on ability to pay and collected through the Colorado Department of Revenue. ColoradoCare would receive the funding Colorado currently spends on health care and apply for Medicaid and other federal waivers to maximize federal funding. As starting income earners or when hard times hit, people would pay on a smaller income. When earning more, they, in essence, would pay back or pay forward. Everyone would always have health care.

4 4 It s good for business, especially small businesses ColoradoCare would mean fewer hassles for business. Businesses that already provide good insurance would pay less with ColoradoCare. They would not spend human resource time choosing and managing health insurance or dealing with mountains of paperwork. With the savings, employers could make choices appropriate for their businesses, such as hiring workers, increasing employee pay, or offering extra benefits. Those who want to start a business could do so without worrying about providing health care to themselves, their families, or their employees. ColoradoCare would be an independent entity It would be free from government agencies, partisan politics, and money- waving lobbyists. ColoradoCare would be a business that operates in the interest of its members the residents of Colorado. It s the right thing to do We waste so much time and money dealing with health insurance, and yet too many people suffer and die needlessly. Coloradans can do better. We are laying the foundation for a healthy, secure Colorado free from financial ruin brought about by health care debt. In our current system, insurance companies profit by denying care. ColoradoCare would eliminate medical bankruptcy caused by high medical bills Right now, about 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by the high cost of medical bills. Many people go into debt, while others are unable to pay for rent, food, or heat because of the burden of paying health care costs. ColoradoCare would be the simple solution for everyone s health care needs The simplicity of ColoradoCare would be that it would pay for health care. Health care would be decoupled from employment. Employees would not have to worry about changing health care providers when they change employers. The decrease in paperwork alone to businesses and people would cause a consequent drop in costs. What if you don t want to pay for people who smoke or are overweight? The fact is that many people, perhaps nearly everyone, incorporate risky behaviors in their lives. People who ski, engage in dangerous sports, or use cell phones when they drive increase their risk of accidents. Some people may be thin but increase their risk of health problems by eating junk food. In fairness, it may not be possible to rank and weigh all of the ways we add risk to our lives. On the other hand, ColoradoCare would encourage the prevention of disease and timely intervention to promote good health. Is ColoradoCare socialized medicine? No. Providers are independent and can be for- profit, non- profit, employed or self- employed. An entity that operates for the common good, e.g., our educational system

5 5 or fire and police departments is not socialized. Socialized medicine is a term that is often used as a tactic to scare people from doing what is in their best interests. ColoradoCare would help build a strong economy in Colorado Much of the money people spend on premiums is sent out of state because the major insurance companies have headquarters elsewhere. Out- of- state and out- of- country money currently spent on administration and executive salaries would become local. Keeping our health care money in the state will provide a boost for our economy, because every dollar spent here stays in the local economy and can return three times the dollar amount. Money saved can mean more jobs in Colorado. For local governments, it can mean more services or potholes being paved. Good to know parlgsw

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