URGENT HCAC NEEDS

Do you or someone you know have a health insurance horror story? Let us know!

Questions about ColoradoCare / Amendment 69? Ask us so we can build our FAQ about it!

We are looking for people willing to help with our communications and online outreach programs (Website, Facebook, Twitter, email, video production and editing, etc.). If you have time and skills to assist, email Nathan for more information.

  • Featured post

    "Coloradans for Coloradans" Funding Neither For Nor By Coloradans

    Opposition Group 99% Bankrolled by Big Money from Corporations, Insurance Industry

    Denver, CO - The first campaign finance reports of the election year drew a stark contrast between the "people over profits" campaign in support of ColoradoCare, Amendment 69, and the corporate insurance industry interests that are lining up to defeat it. 

    If contributions equated to votes, Amendment 69 would pass with 98.64% of the vote, based on the campaign finance reporting of ColoradoCareYES and the opposition group Coloradans for Coloradans.  Of the 1,108 contributions both campaigns received from registered voters in Colorado, 1,093 of them were in support of ColoradoCareYES as opposed to 15 for the opposition.

    "Unfortunately for the inaptly named Coloradans for Coloradans, their fundraising reflects the character of the corporate insurance industry whose grip on health care they are trying to defend," said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for ColoradoCare.  "To preserve a status quo that puts profits first and prioritizes eight-figure CEO salaries over the well-being of patients, Coloradans for Coloradans collected 99.85% of their funds from corporations." 

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  • Featured post

    Broncos Super Bowl Win Costs Several Elated Fans Thousands of Dollars Each

    super-bowl-babies_800.pngIf you watched the Super Bowl yesterday, or at least the commercials, you probably noticed an interesting NFL Commercial that makes the claim that nine months after a victory, the winning city experiences a baby boom. This is apparently due to elated fans taking their joy to the bedroom after the game.

    Assuming this to be true, and understanding that most healthy people of childbearing age are covered by for-profit health insurance with deductibles, then it is no stretch to realize that a lot of Colorado couples will be bumping into their high deductibles come delivery time around the beginning of November. Deductibles of thousands of dollars must be met before insurers will cover any medical claims. Even higher out-of-pocket maximums could mean medical bills as high as $13,700 just for having a baby.

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  • Featured post

    HCAC Supports ColoradoCare Amendment 69

    snglpyr.pngFollowing a unanimous vote of the Health Care for All Colorado (HCAC) Board of Directors this week, HCAC is officially supporting Colorado Amendment 69 – the ColoradoCare state health care financing system.

    Health Care for All Colorado continues to work and strive for a publicly-funded universal health care system, and is excited about the prospect of a fundamental shift in how health care is financed in Colorado that would move us significantly in this positive direction. Many activists and supporters of HCAC worked long hours with the ColoradoCareYES campaign to deliver 109,131 valid signatures to the Secretary of State, officially securing a spot on the November 2016 election ballot. With less than a year to go, this will be a long and intense fight and we need your support.

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  • Featured post

    ColoradoCare Campaign Turns In Over 150K Signatures

    Well, by now you've no doubt heard the ColoradoCare folks were successful in their signature gathering for Initiative #20.  That is an amazing accomplishment, and we offer our congratulations to the team of people who made that happen.  And we know many HCAC members worked hard to secure signatures for Initiative #20.   We honor that effort, and we honor the contributions of time and money it took to get there.  Kudos to all.

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  • Featured post

    The Naked Truth (commercial)

    It's the last day of summer. Days are going to get shorter and temps will start to fall, but something is still rising: deductibles, copays, and health insurance premiums.

    Help us advocate so that nobody is left 'out in the cold!' To become a financial supporter, please click here.

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  • Featured post

    Medicare 50th Anniversary Flash Mob

    Save the Date!

    On July 30, 2015, HCAC will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Medicare in Flash Mob style!

    In DenverFort Collins and Pueblo -- Come on and join the celebration!

     

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  • Featured post

    April 2015 News

    Health Care for All Colorado - NEWS – April 2015 

    Index

    1. A message from Donna Smith, Executive Director, HCAC/HCACF.
    2. HCAC Denver Chapter Meeting – presentation by CHCC (Sen. Irene Aguilar)
    3. Colorado Cost Commission meetings
    4. Colorado legislature bills
    5. HCAC Annual Meeting
    6. HCACF Education Meeting/Fund Raiser – May 2015 – CANCELLED
    7. Medicare 50th Anniversary celebration – July 30, 2015   . 
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  • Featured post

    SB 15-197

    After Hearing Testimony From HCAC Leader, CO Senate Bill 15-197 Passes Out of Committee

    HCAC has taken the position to support SB 15-197, a bill that reduces the number of hours required for Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) oversight from 3600 to 1000 hours, an amount that is still higher than the requirement in most states.  Although years of research and the most recent Institute of Medicine Study conclude that APRNs provide safe, high quality access to care at a lower cost, this bill faces strong opposition from physician groups.  

    On March 12,  Judith Burke, HCAC secretary, provided the following testimony to  Senate Health & Human Services Committee on behalf of HCAC. 

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  • Featured page

    Position paper SB074

    For PDF Version, click here.

    Health Care for All Colorado

    Position Statement

    Senate Bill 15-074:  “Transparency in Health Care Prices Act”

    February 9, 2015

    The mission of Health Care for All Colorado (HCAC) is to promote social welfare by achieving single-payer, comprehensive health care for all Coloradans.  HCAC’s objectives include working with a coalition that will develop strategies for achieving comprehensive, affordable and high quality health care for all Coloradans.  HCAC believes that it is critical to grant the human right to care to all United States residents as most of the rest of the civilized world already does.  HCAC analyzes bills introduced in the Colorado General Assembly, and makes a determination to adopt a position of either supporting or opposing, depending on whether or not the proposed legislation is consistent with its mission and objectives, and creates a stepping stone toward its ultimate goal.

    Senate Bill 15-074 was introduced by members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  The mission of ALEC is to discuss, develop and disseminate model public policies that expand free markets, promote economic growth, limit the size of government, and preserve individual liberty.  It is based on the 2013 ALEC model policy “Freedom to Purchase Medical Services Act.”  In its 2015 publication, “INNOVATE  Policy for the Future” ALEC identifies the widespread confusion regarding health care charges and disparities in pricing, and concludes that this confusion creates a disincentive for consumers to seek competitive pricing.  Furthermore, ALEC believes that the spread of concierge medicine and direct primary care are offering consumers new choices and transparency not typically seen in health care, and that direct primary care has benefits that extend beyond those participating, including increased, voluntary transparency by competitors, and potential savings for taxpayers.

    ALEC supported Senate Bill 15-074 creates the Transparency in Health Care Price Act.  The act requires health care professionals and health care facilities to make a single document that lists the direct pay prices for the most common health care services provided available to the public.  Health care professionals and facilities must update the document at least annually and provide the document on request and electronically if a website exists.  Under the bill, health care professionals and facilities are not required to submit their direct pay prices to any government agency for review.  This bill does not provide any agency with the authority to approve, disapprove, limit, or change the direct pay prices disclosed by health care professionals or facilities.  The bill also prohibits any health insurers or health systems from penalizing a person who pays directly for health care services.  The bill allows citizens of Colorado to seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction against any person allegedly violating the act.  The prevailing party is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs.

    According to the Fiscal Note, no appropriation is required.  However, the bill may increase state expenditures for some agencies.  The bill may impact a grant in the Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE).  The DPHE receives $1.2 million in federal funds to improve health care access for low-income and rural communities.  Federal rules require that fee schedules for identified providers and facilities are approved prior to grant funds being accessible.  Under the bill, government agencies do not have the authority to approve, disapprove, or limit a health care professional or facility’s direct pay prices.  As a result, the bill may impact the DHPE’s ability to meet the requirements of the federal grant.

    Among the HCAC’s fifteen principles upon which a single-payer system should be based, four are most relevant to the analysis of SB 15-074:

    1.            The method of payment for health care in Colorado must belong to the people of Colorado.  The people pay premiums into a Colorado health care trust fund, the people decide how the money is spent for the health benefit of the people, and excess funds are returned to the people.

    2.            Financial barriers to care must be eliminated: no deductibles and small co-pays that would be waived based on financial need or chronic conditions.

    3.            Billing and reimbursements for providers will be fair, adequate, simple, electronic, and rapid.  No more armies of billing specialists will be required to fight for payments from insurers.

    4.            The system will promote greater transparency in outcomes and facilitate greatly improved public health conditions.  Providers will be able to easily develop specific programs and services that improve the health of their populations.  Citizens will be able to select providers based on easily-obtainable quality metrics.              

    After detailed review and analysis, HCAC OPPOSES SB 15-074, for the following reasons.

    Although greater transparency is beneficial and consistent with the principles of HCAC, SB 15-074 does not provide a way to help government better meet the needs of the people they serve.

    Pricing transparency to benefit the patient would be more effective if providers were required to submit pricing information to an existing entity such as the All Payer Claims Database (APCD) that is more than equipped to handle this information in its scope.  The bill as currently written does not provide easy access to obtain pricing information.  Without a way to compare prices, or a way to file a complaint with any oversight authority, the information becomes meaningless.

    The legislation would foster more concierge medicine, further exacerbating a multi-tiered health care delivery system, where those with the money to pay for such services receive better access to care along with a higher quality of care.  Providers in high demand such as specialists could potentially command higher payments, driving down access and increasing costs.

    The language about “not punishing a person who pays directly for health care services” is unnecessary, as anyone can currently pay the ‘uninsured’ rate today if they chose to do so.  This language establishes another roadblock to any future universal health care by allowing providers to easily work outside of any regulated health care delivery system.

    This bill sets up an environment where there is no future ability for any entity to influence or control prices.  It will preemptively deregulate a portion of the industry that has little or no regulation.  A necessary component of any health care system that fairly manages medical costs and medical cost inflation does so using a variety of pricing controls.  Every industrialized nation in the world except the US has price control levers at its disposal, and the fact that the US has none is one of the major reason we spend twice as much as other countries.

    According to the Fiscal Note, this legislation may impact the ability of the DPHE to meet the conditions of the Federal Grant to improve health care access for low income and rural communities, with probable negative consequences for our highly rural state.

    For these reasons, HCAC is in adamant opposition to SB 15-074, as preamended, as the bill is too flawed in overall concept to be supportable.  There are more effective ways to introduce simple, common-sense transparency in health care prices without exacerbating a multiple tier delivery system, reducing access and affordability, and impeding necessary future progress.

    Approved: 

    HCAC Board of Directors

    February 9, 2015

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  • Featured post

    HR 676 Reintroduced!

    HR676 -- Improved and Expanded Medicare for All for life Re-Introduced!

    DonnaSmithandJohnConyers.gifRep. John Conyers, D-MI, has re-introduced HR676 -- and onTuesday, February 3, 2015, HR676 had 44 co-sponsors.  Not one of those co-sponsors is from Colorado even though the single-payer movement is alive and well here.  Please get on the phone and call your elected officials.  

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