Letter: The Colorado Public Option will not help rural Colorado

Colorado Rep. Dylan Roberts was one of the prime sponsors of HB21-1232, the Colorado Public Option, which was signed into law in June 2021. This law will prove to be destructive to the Colorado economy and especially those on the Western Slope and in rural Colorado.

Instead of making health care more affordable, the public option makes health care more expensive and less available for many Coloradans. Dylan Roberts’ public option is a cost-shifting scheme that robs Peter to pay Paul.

To subsidize the cost of the public option, the cost difference is placed on private health insurance plans, which makes the price of coverage for millions of Coloradans more expensive. A report by FTI Consulting found that 37 Colorado counties could see private insurance premiums drastically increased.

At the same time, private insurance providers will be forced to cut premiums or potentially lose licenses and certificates of authority to operate, according to the Common Sense Institute. As doctors’ and nurses’ reimbursements are capped and more people are forced onto public option plans, there is fear those providers will leave the state. Under Roberts’ public option, the CSI found that 3,900 to 4,900 health care jobs could be lost in Colorado mainly impacting rural communities with hospitals operating on tight margins.

Roberts’ Colorado Public Option will prove a disaster for Coloradans, especially those on the Western Slope and rural counties as health care services become more expensive for most and less available for everyone. Roberts values and policies are aligned with the Denver-Boulder liberal elites, not those of the Western Slope and rural Colorado.

It’s time to elect a leader who has decades of experience running small businesses, serving as a first responder, and championing public service. Elect Matt Solomon as our next Senator for Senate District 8.

Pete Wood

Steamboat Springs

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