These are the basic principles of a universal health care system envisioned for Colorado.

  • 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.

  • All Coloradans must belong by default with full primary coverage, unless superseded by a federally-regulated plan (such as Medicare or the VA). ERISA plans are also not touched or modified, but employers will ultimately find them irrelevant and superfluous.

  • Benefits must be comprehensive, including mental health, vision, dental, durable medical goods, and pharmaceuticals.

  • The system must be based on primary and preventive care, with coordination of specialty care. this should include systems of patient-centered medical homes.

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

  • Contributions to the Colorado health care trust fund will be based on financial ability, rather than degree or risk of illness. When someone gets sick, the medical bills are covered by the fund. When we treat illness and promote health, we all save money.

  • There will be no financial risk of bankruptcy due to medical bills.

  • Citizens will have full choice of providers, and will be able to change providers as they see fit.

  • 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.

  • The Legislature and citizens of Colorado will ultimately determine the best method of financing this system to create optimal cost-benefit and maximum sustainability.

  • Waivers to incorporate the payments for other systems (Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, etc.) so the delivery system can become even better integrated.

  • Regional Boards of experts appointed by the Governor and Legislature will manage the operation of the system to be more accountable to local health care needs.

  • Bulk purchasing and negotiated pricing will be pursued for medications and durable medical equipment.

  • 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.

  • Business will no longer have to struggle to select a health plan for their employees or be forced to cut benefits or increase cost-sharing. Entrepreneurs will be free to start new businesses without worrying about health coverage.

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