Colo. Health Care Cooperative would save money, create jobs, study finds

Analysis shows Sen. Aguilar’s plan is good RX for fiscal health

Commissioned by the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care, a new economic impact analysis will allow Coloradans to weigh the costs and benefits of the Colorado Health Care Cooperative—a plan by State Sen. Irene Aguilar, M.D. to coordinate health care payment in the state via a nonprofit cooperative led by Coloradans.

If referred to the ballot and passed by Colorado voters, the Colorado Health Care Cooperative would reign in health care costs while boosting the economy and ensuring access to health care for every Coloradan, the study finds. Overall, Coloradans would save $4.8 billion.

In “Three Possibilities for Colorado’s Future Health Care Financing and Delivery,” Economics Professor Gerald Friedman, Ph.D. of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, examines Colorado health care delivery and costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if the ACA were repealed, and if Sen. Aguilar’s Colorado Health Care Cooperative were implemented. The report is available on the Foundation’s website at

Among Friedman’s findings:

  • The Cooperative would reduce the percentage of Colorado health care dollars spent on administration in 2016 from 31 percent (under both ACA and no-ACA) to 21.5 percent.
  • Most Coloradans would pay less for better benefits with the Cooperative.
  • The Cooperative would reduce the percent of payroll employers and employees spend on health insurance from 11.8 to 9 percent, while paying a higher percentage of health care costs than most health plans.
  • The savings would stimulate the economy, create Colorado jobs, and make Colorado employers more competitive.
  • The Cooperative would reduce the number of uninsured in Colorado to 0.3 percent by 2016.

Sen. Aguilar plans to introduce legislation on Feb. 22 that could lead to the Colorado Health Care Cooperative, if voters approve. She will ask legislators to refer the measure onto the ballot this November.

The Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care develops ideas for, and educates the public about, health care development proposals that provide quality universal coverage, are fiscally responsible, and are advantageous to consumers, providers and employers.

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