Ken Brenner: Set the record straight

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To the editor:

Setting the record straight on health care:

A postcard sent for my opponent in State Senate District 8 claims that, if elected, I will increase health care prescription drug costs, reduce your options for health insurance and promote higher taxes.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Although Medicare recipients and government could have saved billions had program administrators been allowed to negotiate prices with drug companies, as VA administrators do, the Republican Party, to which my opponent belongs, forced Medicare to accept full pricing of prescription drugs.

The postcard states that I am in favor of a state-run, taxpayer-funded health care system that "Denver bureaucrats will get to decide where, when and how you receive health care." I don't have a clue where this idea comes from! Colorado can do more to contain costs, ensure accountability and make sure that all Colorado citizens who want health care can access it. I support the governor's 2008 Blue Ribbon Commission and will work to implement the 32 specific recommendations.

It claims that I will raise taxes. For as many years as my opponent has been in the Legislature, I would think that he would be aware of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Without the consent of the governed, no new tax can be passed. If there is a need for additional revenue, the people of Colorado will have to agree to it.

The postcard states that under (its conception of) my plan you will "end up paying for someone else's health care coverage, in addition to your own." But you already are! About $1,000 of every family policy premium goes to compensate providers for un-reimbursed services.

Furthermore, county and state governments already are picking up the tab for indigent care not covered under a program. One of the tasks set out by the Commission is to eliminate this charge.

I am for developing first-class health care for everyone in Colorado, but especially children. We need to take maximum advantage of the federally funded State Children's Health Insurance Program, which emphasizes preventive care. But funding is only half the problem. We have a severe shortage of primary care providers. The consequence has been that citizens have neglected health problems until they become acute and need expensive remediation. If we can solve this problem we will reduce costs, not increase them.

I have put forth my agenda. My opponent has none, except to attack with, at best, misleading statements.

Ken Brenner

Candidate for State Senate, District 8

Steamboat Springs

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