Health Care

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand access to telemedicine through Colorado's community health centers, which provide care for 27% of the state's Medicaid clients

As Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic lawmakers wage a war with hospitals over the rising cost of health care in Colorado, many residents like Jamie Harrison are still stuck paying high premiums on the West Slope.

"I think paying $1,700 a month for an insurance policy I don't use is not sustainable," Harrison said last week after finishing a day of skiing in Beaver Creek. "Something has got to give."

One rural community in Colorado was so frustrated with high health insurance costs and government inaction that a few years ago, residents took matters into their own hands.

And their plan worked.

Locals in Summit County found a way around traditional insurance processes to lower local health care costs and save consumers an average of 20 percent on their monthly premiums.

 


  This Thursday Garfield County hosts presentations by Summit County-based Peak Health Alliance. The non-profit health cooperative will provide information on the Peak Health program and its potential to lower health insurance premiums in Garfield County, which are some of the most expensive in the United States. Peak Health Alliance CEO Tamara Pogue explains how the program uses data to negotiate lower prices.

When Gov. Jared Polis used an executive order to create his new Office of Saving People Money on Health Care eight months ago, he said it was the first office of its kind.

Coloradans on both sides of the political aisle are celebrating the approval of a new reinsurance program that is expected to dramatically reduce health insurance premiums for some residents.

"By bringing down rates, we'll make a dent in the number of uninsured, and today we're really seeing the hard work we did this legislative session is coming to fruition," Gov. Jared Polis said last month.

Reinsurance is often described as insurance for insurance companies.

Mark Duggan

Colorado lawmakers are working on a bipartisan set of proposals that would seek to lower insurance premiums and the costs of prescription drugs. According to Gov. Jared Polis, it will bring particular relief to rural and mountain areas, where health care costs are some of the highest in the nation.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

In a significant shift, the Trump administration says the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in the courts. Previously, the administration had pushed to remove the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions but had not argued in court that the whole law should be struck down.

Health care is emerging as a top priority for both Democratic and Republicans at the State Capitol this session, and some of the proposed legislation is already packing hearing rooms.

One of the bills would add autism to a list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. Similar legislation was vetoed by former Gov. John Hickenlooper last year.

3rd Congressional Candidate Karl Hanlon joins Ed Troy to talk about his views on health care.

Host Ed Troy and special guest Steve Reynolds have a conversation with congressional candidate Diane Mitsch Bush about health care.

#REDALERT4CHCS

After decades of bipartisan support, federal funding lapsed for health centers around the country. For over four months now, health centers have operated without that critical funding. Today, advocates wear red to raise awareness and call on Congress to approve funding for the next few years. KDNK’s Raleigh Burleigh spoke with Ross Brooks, CEO for Mountain Family Health Centers, to learn more...