Sen. Rankin: Price controls on health care deal another blow to rural Colorado

Colorado Sen. Bob Rankin

Yet again, rural Colorado suffers as the Democrat majority moves to government control and focuses on the interests of the urban Front Range, this time to implement price controls on health care.

Access to hospitals and other health care resources is fragile in rural communities where vital services are often scarce and far flung.

In my 10 years in the legislature representing Northwest Colorado, I’ve confronted issue after issue that neglects or overrides the interest of my outnumbered constituents.

We now have wolves threatening livestock, excess wild horses destroying vegetation, drying rivers because of diversion to growing urban cities and destructive proposals for statewide property tax controls. 

Now we see the “Colorado Option,” approved by the partisan legislature in 2019 and recently given the go ahead by the federal controlling agency.  While urban hospitals are largely profitable, rural hospitals struggle to survive with lower patient counts but vital regional services.

This new approach to price controls demands that providers lower their costs by fixed percentages or face penalties. Socialistic approaches to price controls don’t work, and this first-of-its-kind attempt to lower costs for urban residents will result in our rural hospitals closing or cutting services.  

We read daily now of increasing insurance rates. As government provided insurance expands — Medicaid now covers 25% of Colorado residents — with the addition of the “Colorado Option,” other insurance rates will absorb the “cost shift” and will increase. 

Let’s return balance to the Colorado legislature in November and stop this nonsense.

Bob Rankin represents District 8 in the Colorado Senate covering Routt, Moffat, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Rio Blanco and Summit counties.

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