Letter: Colorado Public Option is good for Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Colorado Public Option is good for Routt County

This letter is a response to state Sen. Bob Rankin’s recent commentary in the Steamboat Pilot & Today, which was full of falsehoods and misconceptions. Sen. Rankin, perhaps you are unaware that the Colorado Option bill was born out of the fact that rural Coloradans pay significantly more for health care and health insurance than those on the Front Range. Yes, we do. The bill does not impose price controls. It sets targets and allows the industry to decide on how to achieve those targets.

The Colorado Option bill was passed in 2021, not 2019. It was sponsored by three legislators, two of whom are from rural Colorado, and passed primarily for rural hospitals and patients. Amendments were made so that rural hospitals get reimbursed higher with Colorado Option patients than they will with regular commercially insured patients (and much higher than Medicaid or Medicare). They will get more reimbursement under the Option. It’s the larger, urban hospitals that will help us offset and achieve savings statewide.

Hospitals in your district, Sen. Rankin, will have the following payments under the Colorado Option as compared to a Medicare payer:

• Yampa Valley Medical Center: 155% of Medicare
• Craig Memorial: 223%
• Rangely: 215%
• Kremmling: 211%

See this quote from the Colorado Sun: “In nearly every county, rates for the Colorado Option will be below the countywide average price in each of the three levels of coverage — gold, silver and bronze. … In addition, the Colorado Option does not appear to have sent insurers headed for the exits en masse. Instead, people in every county but one will see at least two choices for insurers on the state’s insurance exchange when open enrollment starts up in the fall.”

Sen. Rankin, you have frequently voted against bills (health care and others) that directly help Routt County. Stop the nonsense is right. Your constituents do more research than you as evidenced by this letter. Truth matters Sen. Rankin.

Nancy Spillane

Oak Creek

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