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Colorado does not need a ‘public option’ health care plan

Mar 25, 2021 by AFP

A “public option” plan like the one proposed by state Rep. Dylan Roberts would put Colorado on the road to government-run health care. It’s no better an idea at the state level than at the federal level.

In an op-ed in the Steamboat Pilot & Today, Americans for Prosperity-Colorado State Director Jesse Mallory writes that Roberts’ proposal, while well-intentioned, would drive up costs and drive Coloradans out of their existing insurance.

His promise that “those who like their current coverage can stay on it” sounds an awful lot like “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” the claim from Obamacare supporters that PolitiFact called the “Lie of the Year” for 2013.

“It is estimated that within 10 years under a public option, a third of Coloradans who now have private health insurance would move to public option plans,” Mallory writes. “Since fewer doctors see patients on public plans, Coloradans would have less access to the doctors they want.”

Costs would also go up. Despite similar sounding promises that Washington state’s recently enacted public option would lower costs, the plans can cost nearly 30 percent more than private-sector insurance.

“No doubt Colorado has health care challenges,” Mallory writes. “At the same time, according to Wallethub, Colorado has the seventh-best health care system in America with the second-best health care outcomes. Why would we risk all that on a government health care scheme we know will not work?”

It’s a good question. You can read why we shouldn’t, along with some ideas about what we should do instead, in Mallory’s op-ed.