Mar 6, 2020 - Health

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.

Details: The bill establishes hospital reimbursement rates beginning at 155% of Medicare, with the option of adjustments for certain hospitals, per the Public Option Institute.

  • It requires that all hospitals participate in the public option, giving the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the authority to fine and suspend or revoke the license of hospitals that don't participate.
  • The public option would also be required to provide pre-deductible coverage for behavioral health care, which could make that care more accessible.

Go deeper: Colorado offers lessons for Democrats on creating a public option

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Colorado governor signs bill abolishing death penalty

Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill on Monday abolishing the death penalty in the state.

Why it matters: This makes Colorado the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty, per the Colorado Sun. Polis also commuted the sentences of the only three inmates on the state's death row, who will instead serve life sentences with no parole.

Health care workers fear the coronavirus surge

Medical workers prepare to test people in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Doctors, nurses and other health care workers are afraid for their health — and in some cases their lives — as the mounting coronavirus outbreak closes in on a health care system that doesn't have enough equipment and overworks its people.

What they're saying: "It's a mess, and there's no help," Alan Roth, a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York, said last week. "We have been left out to dry."

Go deeperArrowApr 2, 2020 - Health

Trump administration finalizes health data rule

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Trump administration finalized a rule Monday that would make it easier for patients to share their health data with apps, hospitals and doctors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: The rule is likely to benefit the growing health data industry, which uses the information to develop health care services. But opponents of the rule argue that it could also create data privacy issues.

Go deeperArrowMar 10, 2020 - Health