Keep Universal Health Care On the Table!

In order to keep universal health care on the table during the upcoming session of the Colorado Legislature, grassroots supporters must show their strength!

Write and call your legislators and ask them to:
Keep universal health care on the table.

Talking points:

  • I support universal health care! As you look at how to reform health care in our state, I want you to consider a Colorado universal health care plan.
  • To support universal heath care, I ask that you vote for an upcoming bill to analyze several health care options, including universal single payer health care (and a Medicaid buy-in).
  • Voting for an analysis bill that includes universal health care is a way to live up to your campaign promise to work for universal health care for Coloradans.
  • Please do NOT support a bill that analyzes only the Medicaid buy-in, because if that bill passes, universal health care would be taken off of the table for years while a limited public option that only helps 17,000 people is developed.
  • Help unify the party and electorate by voting for a bill that analyzes both a universal health care plan for Colorado and the Medicaid buy-in among other options.

Keep single payer universal health care on the table!

Opponents of universal health care would like to quietly remove single payer from discussions while talking about how they are the “champions of the people” with a Medicaid buy-in proposal.

We can’t let that happen!

Spread the word! Ask your friends to also share this message.

About that Medicaid buy-in

Medicaid buy-in sounds like a bold and innovative program to allow consumers to obtain Medicaid’s compressive benefits with little or no copays.

The reality is quite different. It is not like Medicaid, nor is it anything like the successful Medicaid Buy-In program that enables people with disabilities to enter the workforce without losing essential benefits. The only part that is Medicaid is some of the administrative infrastructure. It does not have Medicaid’s comprehensive benefit package, nor does it have Medicaid’s freedom from copays and deductibles. Instead, the benefits are similar to insurance bought on the Connect for Colorado marketplace, and it has the same high deductibles as plans on the exchange. It is best described as a limited public option.

Three nonprofits — The Bell Foundation, the Colorado Center for Law and Policy, and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative — hired the Wakely actuarial and accounting firm to conduct a preliminary analysis of the Medicaid buy-in proposal. The Wakely report estimates that 17,300 Coloradans will enroll, and that it will save low-income enrollees $120/year and the higher income enrollees $2,228/yr. It’s designed to work alongside an active commercial insurance market, not to be a public program that can replace health care insurance.

In order to achieve significant savings, the Medicaid buy-in option would pay providers at the Medicare rate, which is less than the true cost of treatment. Because only a limited number of providers will be willing to lower their fees so that consumers can pay less for insurance, Wakely anticipates that this option will have an even more limited network of providers than the plans on the exchange.

In short, while the Medicaid buy-in would help some people, it’s a far cry from universal health care.

We aren’t opposed to the Medicaid buy-in unless it’s used as an excuse not to act on universal health care.

Thanks for helping keep single payer universal health care on the table!