Feb 27, 2020 - Health

Colorado offers lessons for Democrats on creating a public option

Gov. Jared Polis leaves the Colorado State House floor on Jan. 9. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado lawmakers are preparing to vote on the state's public option proposal, providing an example of what happens when politicians take on the health care industry, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Democrats by and large want to do the same thing on a national scale, but promising more affordable coverage for everyone is a lot easier than actually passing legislation to make it happen.

Details: Colorado's public option would be run by private insurers, although it would more tightly limit insurers' profits and administrative costs. Insurers don't like the additional regulation.

  • The proposal lowers premiums in the individual market by lowering what hospitals are paid — so the state's hospital industry is fiercely opposing it, too.

The intrigue: A local affiliate of the Partnership for America's Health Care Future Action — the group opposing Medicare for All nationally — paid for a mailer that warned Coloradans that the proposal would raise costs and lead to hospital closures.

  • Expect that exact same messaging if Democrats seize power in the 2020 elections — except on a much, much larger scale.

Go deeper: Blue states' watered-down health reforms

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Colorado's public option takes on its hospital system

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Colorado legislature introduced its public option bill yesterday, taking one step further in one of the country's most timely health policy experiments.

Between the lines: The bill takes on hospitals as part of how it lowers costs, which is likely what Democrats would end up trying to do should they win the presidency.

Go deeperArrowMar 6, 2020 - Health

What Biden's big Super Tuesday means for health care

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Health care has become the framework that defines the broader ideological and stylistic divisions within the Democratic primary — a contest between political revolution and Medicare for All vs. bipartisan compromise and a public option.

Yes, but: It's kind of a false choice. Passing either of those health care plans would require a knock-down, drag-out party-line brawl just as intense as the fight over the Affordable Care Act.

Go deeperArrowMar 4, 2020 - Health

Hospitals halt medical bills for coronavirus patients

A Providence hospital in Washington state. Photo: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

Some hospital systems are temporarily pausing bills for any patients who receive care related to the new coronavirus.

Why it matters: Receiving costly medical bills could discourage people from seeking care even as the outbreak worsens. However, it's unclear what patients' financial obligations will look like once the pandemic simmers.

Go deeperArrowMar 13, 2020 - Health