Letter: is not for you

Facts you need to know if you are watching TV advertisements opposed to the Colorado Public Option:

• is overseen by Chip Kahn, chief lobbyist for the Federation of American Hospitals.

• Mr. Kahn always has worked on behalf of industry; never on behalf of patients.

• He is paid $2.8 million a year.

• Kahn and his people will be pouring a lot of money into Colorado to keep the public option from happening.

Here is what they are fighting:

• An effort to rein in costs and expand coverage.

• Hospitals being required to limit costs and limit obscene profits.

• A new insurance option for patients not currently enrolled in an employer-based plan to enroll in a plan tightly regulated by the state and managed by a private insurer. Lawmakers have said that the plan could later be offered to small businesses.

• Premiums set by the government at as much as 20% less than current premiums on the exchanges, saving as much as $120 per month for many Coloradans.

• Insurers being required to spend a higher share of revenue they collect from premiums on care rather than administrative costs or profits. Insurance companies will have to spend profits on patients. Gee, what a concept.

To be clear, the Colorado proposal would not replace private insurance, as other options have promoted. This is a lie being promoted by Mr. Kahn and his buddies.

HCA Healthcare is one of the sponsors of this opposition. It is an investor-owned health conglomerate that operates a chain of hospitals (including Rose Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center and five other Denver locations) and a debt collection firm, which has swamped Colorado patients with collection lawsuits during the pandemic.

As we already know, Colorado hospital charges are among the most expensive in the country. The high charges (per the think tank RAND Corp.) are in part because of low rates of competition from years of consolidation within the hospital sector — like UCHealth purchasing our Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Colorado hospitals are funding ads in order to protect their bottom lines. They have a financial stake in preserving the current system. They are using their profits from overcharging patients to run ads against legislation that could save families money.

Be aware. These people are for overcharging patients and against patients saving money.

Anne Barounos

Steamboat Springs

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