With governor's signature, investigation on health-care cost drivers to begin
Last Updated: 12:44 May 6, 2014
Colorado General Assembly last week gave approval to a bill allowing the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, or CCLP, to form the commission, which will include 12 members from business, health-insurance and health-care backgrounds, in addition to economists and other experts, according to Elisabeth Arenales, director of CCLP's Health Care Program.
There also will be a requirement for geographic and political party diversity among the commissioners. Selection of the commission is expected to be complete by July, according to Arenales, assuming the governor signs the bill, which headed to his desk late last week.
"I can't speak for the governor, of course, but I do expect the bill to go forward," Arenales said.
The commission's study of health-care cost drivers will be complete by summer 2017, Arenales said, with an interim reporting requirement in 2015.
While many health-care issues are disputed among political leaders and the general population, there is a consensus that health-care costs nationwide are too high, Arenales said.
"Finding solutions that rein in health-care costs would benefit not only Colorado families, but businesses and government as well," said CCLP's executive director and former state legislator Claire Levy in a statement. "For too many families, health-care costs continue to push them to the brink of, if not into bankruptcy. We simply must address this problem."
According to data from CCLP, the average yearly premium for a family with private insurance nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, jumping from $6,797 to $13,393.
Other states have already implemented commissions like this, according to Arenales, and it's time that Colorado did the same.
"I think this is really an extraordinary and exciting opportunity for the state to get control of something that we all know is a significant problem," Arenales said.
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