Total cost of care an alternative to public option

John Ingold
The Colorado Sun
Colorado state Sen. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, speaks on Feb. 1, 2019, at a town hall meeting in Frisco on the high cost of health care in Colorado's mountain communities.
John Ingold | The Colorado Sun

As Democrats at the state Capitol near the introduction of the long-awaited and hugely controversial bill to create a public health insurance option, Colorado hospitals on Tuesday unveiled their counteroffer.

Their proposal is a “total-cost-of-care” model — essentially a big health spending budget for the state. An independent commission would be charged with setting a target to limit how much health care spending in the state can grow each year.

“It is all providers, all payers, for all Coloradans,” said Chris Tholen, the CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association. “It really is a focus on a common shared goal.”

It is also, clearly, the hospitals’ attempt to steer lawmakers away from a public insurance option, which many hospitals despise because it likely will give regulators the ability to tell hospitals how much they can charge people covered by the public option.

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