Colorado fight over public health insurance option heats up as legislative session begins

The fight over whether to adopt a public health insurance option in Colorado ramped up this week ahead of the legislative session’s start on Wednesday.

Lawmakers approved a bill last year directing the Division of Insurance and the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to draft a proposal with recommendations for a public option. The final report was released in November. Now, lawmakers are weighing what to include in a bill to create the program.

Proponents of the bill say it will reduce health care costs and increase consumer choice, but the plan has received pushback from the Colorado Hospital Association and insurance companies who say it will have unintended consequences such as a decrease in competition and reduction in services and access to care.

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