Although health care reform at the national level is necessary to achieve comprehensive, systemic change, Colorado is well positioned to be a leader in state health care policy reform. The development of the Colorado 208 Commission has elevated awareness surrounding the need for solutions to the health care crisis in Colorado. The time is right for Coloradoans to act boldly to implement health care reform.
Colorado has 758,000 uninsured residents, 180,000 of whom are children, and yet we still spend more than $30 billion on health care each year. Changing the conventional health care system is the best way to reduce costs while ensuring the number of uninsured does not grow further.
I believe a single payer plan will improve the quality of health care and make it more efficient to administer. A single payer system would allow health care professionals to focus on the best course of treatment instead of inefficient administration and insurance requirements. A secure, integrated medical records system will allow caregivers to build on patient history and consider previous care in their diagnostics. This comprehensive record system would increase safety for patients and decrease provider liability by reducing duplicate treatments and procedures and eliminating the possibility of conflicting treatments.
Single payer would also improve the health of all Coloradans. A comprehensive plan would include portable coverage for patients as careers change and through all stages of life; and would better cover the entire person, including mental, dental, and preventive care. Coverage would be available to individuals of all ages, health status, and geographic location.
Long-term care is of the utmost importance as the population of our state and region is rapidly aging. Long-term care must be affordable so that individuals and their families do not have to compromise their financial health in order to receive the care they need.
Coloradans will spend less and Colorado's economy will improve by addressing the direct and indirect costs associated with skyrocketing insurance premiums and decreasing coverage. Today and in the future, the health care industry plays a prominent role in the economic vitality of our state. A single payer health care system will not displace the current structure or quality of service providers and health care professionals. Instead, it will balance the needs of the public sector with the needs of the health care services industry, eliminating the inefficiencies but preserving the quality of service that we know today.
In survey after survey, health care emerges as one of the key issues on the minds of Colorado residents. I support creative and bold solutions toward improving our health care system that will reduce costs and improve our quality of life. Working with the Governor, other Colorado representatives, and representing you, I will strive to implement a health care plan that achieves affordable, accessible health care for all.