Any health care idea that reduces costs, expands coverage and improves outcomes is something Jared Polis said he would be interested in pursuing as governor.
“Dianne and I,” Polis said, speaking with his running mate Dianne Primavera on Tuesday at Durango Joe’s on College Drive, “won’t rest until we get to universal health care and reduced costs, but we are living in a political world, too.”
He said that under the medical insurance system, the people who are suffering are the unemployed, self-employed and small businesses.
For any change to be politically viable, Polis said it would have to show the majority of people who receive health insurance from their employers, and who are largely satisfied with the status quo, that they too would see cost savings.
“We have to show we can do it for less,” he said.
The key to lowering cost, he said, is to create a large pool to give the state or a consortium of states the power to negotiate better prices with providers.
One idea, he said, is expanding Medicare to provide a bigger pool to bring down insurance costs.
Polis said he would examine any action he could take to address price disparities and to lower costs in health insurance. He also said he would lead a legislative effort to change the health insurance system.
State Rep. Barbara McLachlan asked if the high cost of health insurance on the Western Slope compared with the Front Range could be addressed.
Polis said the high costs are a result of the state setting up various regions with separate pools for health insurance. Instead, he said, a statewide pool or a consortium of states would help lower costs on the Western Slope.