Foundation Principles

Designing a System to Provide Quality, Affordable Health Care for All

These are the principles the Foundation supports in health care reform:

  •     UNIVERSAL:  All Coloradans need health care regardless of their payer source.  Waivers to incorporate people covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and to expand on the Exchange will be pursued.
  •     AFFORDABLE: We all need care and when someone gets very sick we all pay for that care, so we will all contribute based on ability to pay.  There should be no deductibles and modest co-pays that can be waived based on income or chronic conditions. We need protection from bankruptcy in paying for our health care. The system should be equitable and consistent.
  •     ACCOUNTABLE & TRANSPARENT:  We need a system that’s accountable to the users, not out-of-state private investors. The system should have a publicly elected board of directors, accountable for health spending and outcomes.  Coloradans should be engaged and informed on operations, evaluations, and revisions of benefits. Finances should be transparent.
  •     COMPREHENSIVE: Health care benefits should be comprehensive, with an emphasis on health and wellness. Statewide emergency access will be developed. Centers of excellence for high risk and high cost procedures will be nourished.
  •     INTEGRATED & COORDINATED CARE:  Colorado’s system should be based on primary and preventive care. There should be patient centered medical homes, connected with non-profit, Integrated Health Care Networks. Primary care providers can best coordinate specialty care.
  •     CHOICE:  Coloradans should be free to choose among primary care providers and Integrated Health Care Systems and to change providers as they see fit.
  •     EFFICIENCY:  Billing should be simplified and centralized. Providers need dependable, adequate, and simple reimbursements.
  •     MARKET BASED:  Providers and hospitals will compete for members based on service and quality.  Prices for medications and durable medical equipment will be negotiated.
  •     CONTINUOUS, PORTABLE COVERAGE:  Access to health care should be independent of employment. Entrepreneurs with preexisting conditions should be free to start new businesses, secure in their health care needs.
  •     LET BUSINESS FOCUS ON BUSINESS: Businesses need to be able to count on having health care for all their employees—simply and affordably. Administration of health benefits can be eliminated and costs made predictable.
  •     MALPRACTICE REFORM: Compensation should be timely and fair. Reforms can lessen defensive medicine and cut costs, as well as attract health care professional to Colorado.
  •     TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED:  The System should support smart cards for each Coloradan to ensure access to medical records, simplify billing and prevent fraud.  Comprehensive electronic medical records can collect data to determine best practices and demonstrate quality service.
  •     COMPASSIONATE:  The needs of vulnerable populations and those with exceptional needs must be ensured.

One Response to Foundation Principles

  1. February 3, 2014
    Your principles sound good, but our societies’ past implementation of just those has left
    a lot of people in unrealistic situations. The health condition often called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) which has been around since the late 1880’s when
    people were having problems with coal gas plumbed into homes for heating
    and lighting.

    The fact that it is not* an allergy was recognized in the early 1900’s when the immune system was discovered. MCS is recognized as an ADA – supported disability.

    Yet, even today, we see more name calling than realistic acceptance and accomodation
    of people with this syndrome. Doctors who support clinical testing of the condition
    have been disbarred from practice , put down as “quacks,” and their specialty of
    Environmental Medicine has been dismissed by regulatory agencies as “controversial.”
    We have some 11 – 16 percent of the population saying “I will not call 911! We now know that some medical chemicals aggravate the neural injury that drives MCS. Yet
    so many doctors refuse to accept the condtion; rediagnosing them as “mild allergies.”

    This specific issue is perhaps beyond your immediate goals of health care access
    here and now for many people, but please do recognize that we need leadership in this
    area which includes encouraging medical schools to provide courses in Environmental
    Medicine (it is mandated in some European countries), acceptance of diagnoses of MCS
    by board certified doctors, and general accomodation of people with MCS.

    Thank you.

    Ernie Stiltner
    Rocky Mountain Environmental Health, Vice President

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