GOP to introduce health-care proposals | AspenTimes.com

GOP to introduce health-care proposals

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” State House Republicans said they will introduce a bill next year that would encourage health plans with basic coverage for a low monthly premium as part of a package to reduce health care costs.

Other proposals would provide assistance to Colorado’s seniors through a Medicaid waiver, provide increased services to Colorado’s developmentally disabled residents and allow individuals to purchase insurance from other states.

A plan by Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, would expand rural access to health care by allowing qualified advanced practice nurses to give some care for basic patient health.

“Our health care system is far from perfect, but it is still the best in the world,” said House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker. “Instead of taking a wrecking ball to our current system, we need to get more people into that system, and that’s what we plan to do.”

Roberts said some of the biggest challenges are in rural areas with fewer doctors, clinics or hospitals than urban areas.

The proposal received a lukewarm reception from health care advocates, who warned they could drive up the cost of care and ultimately reduce coverage.

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“The proposals recommended today by Republican legislators start from the right place by tackling access for the uninsured and expanding our health care network,” said Dede de Percin of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, a coalition of health care consumers seeking affordable health care coverage for all Coloradans.

“That said, our health care solutions need to be both useful and affordable for all consumers,” she said.

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, said he’s waiting for a task force convened by Gov. Bill Ritter to issue its report on health care options in January. The commission is reviewing five plans and decided not to endorse a combined plan for lawmakers.

“It seems to me way too early to declare that process a failure,” he said.

The Legislature convenes in January.

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