Opposition TV campaign launches against public health option in Colorado

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DENVER | A Colorado nonprofit group whose members include insurance companies and hospitals has launched a $1 million TV ad campaign opposing a public health insurance option plan being developed by Democrats in the Legislature.

The Colorado Sun reports that the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future is airing ads in Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.

Lawmakers drafting legislation say they want to give insurers until 2023 to offer plans on the individual market with premiums that cost 10% less than this year — and 20% less in 2024. One lawmaker says that under the legislation, which has yet to be introduced, the state would intervene if insurers can’t meet those goals.

The nonprofit and a subsidiary, Colorado’s Health Care Future, lobbied against a similar public option proposal last year before it was abandoned because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Sun reports it spent roughly $5 million on advertising, lobbying and other expenses between July 2019 and June 2020.

Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, has long advocated a public option with the goals of reducing health insurance costs and expanding its availability — especially in mountain and rural areas where residents have paid some of the highest prices for insurance in the nation.

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