More By This Author

Current Issue

Current Issue

Posted: March 10, 2011

No to a Colorado Heath Care Authority

It would mean jobs lost

Editor's note: This is an edited version of the recent testimony from Dan Anglin, CACI Governmental Affairs Representative, against Senate Bill 168, sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver. The bill would set up the Colorado Health Care Authority to design a health care cooperative. The authority would recommend a universal health care system that could be run by the cooperative, and the proposal would be put to a statewide vote.

I am here today to oppose SB-168. The CACI HealthCare Council carefully considered this bill and determined that it is designed to create a single-payer system of health benefits that will put the delivery of health-care within the confines of a governmental authority.

By creating a governmental health-care authority that is charged with providing health benefits for all Coloradans, SB-168 displaces the private health-insurance industry that directly employs over 20,000 people in our state.

Data indicates that for every health-insurance job, there are two-to-three other occupations that are directly related, which means that passing SB 168 could mean more than 60,000 jobs lost in Colorado. 

The bill recognizes that jobs will be lost if this measure is passed by requiring the authority to determine measures to provide retraining, and to determine measures to provide extended unemployment insurance benefits for those who are displaced by the establishment of the cooperative. 

We are talking about claims processors, fraud investigators, information-technology professionals, actuaries, benefits managers, phone-bank workers, collections agents, administrators, assistants, and anyone directly employed by an insurance carrier. 

In addition, this bill would put pharmaceutical benefits-management companies out of business as well as brokers, agents, and anyone else who works in the health-insurance industry. 

As we all know, Colorado's Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund is insolvent. It is unclear how the state will be able to manage the burden of over 60,000 new UI claims when Colorado is already borrowing money from the Federal Government to cover those unfortunate Coloradans whose jobs have already been lost to the recession. How can we afford to put an entire industry out of business? 

Single-payer models are not innovative. Competition drives innovation. Private health-insurance carriers are well ahead of such single-payer models as Medicare and Medicaid in:

· Predictive modeling tools to proactively identify high-risk individuals and then outreach to help improve their quality of life and reduce cost,

· Disease management and wellness programs, and

· Certification for high-performing physicians, for example. 

By putting providers under the umbrella of the state, hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, emergency rooms, urgent care centers and medical centers will become the financial burden of the taxpayer. Private health-care that is managed by private businesses will become a thing of the past. 

The legislative declaration of this bill states that the PPACA is insufficient to cover the care of those without insurance. CACI, as well as all of the other major business organizations in Colorado, have been working with the sponsors of the bill that will create the Colorado health insurance exchange, a measure that promotes competition within private health-industries to provide access to care for over 300,000 people currently uninsured in our state. 

The exchange is not an effort to put private industry into the hands of the government. It is an effort to enroll those who would qualify for Medicaid under the new Federal guidelines into that program and to create cost-savings for individuals and small businesses by combining the risk of the individual market and the small-group market, to provide people with access to quality, affordable care. 

SB-168 would decimate those herculean efforts by the business community, the health-care industry, consumers, and elected officials to provide health-care that builds Colorado's economy while making our residents healthier. 

Additionally, the bill has a conditional fiscal note of $1.2 million just to create the authority and the administrative burdens that are associated with the creation of a new quasi-governmental agency. 

In closing, the concept of a single-payer system is designed to put the government in the business of providing health benefits. This bill will put too many people out of a job, put too much of a financial burden on taxpayers and will put a government agency in charge of your health-care decisions. 

Additionally, the financing of this authority would center on mandatory payroll contributions, income-tax assessments, and an income-based premium. 

Please reject this job-killing, government-takeover of the fastest growing sector of our economy.

{pagebreak:Page 1}

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Now you're sounding like Nancy Pelosi with her famous idiotic statement: We have to pass it so we can see what's in it>" It's amazing to me that anyone would try to find out a solution with "legislation.' It's simple, when Jerry Sonnenberg and Greg Brophy tell me it's worth looking at, I'll consider it. I supported BOTH of them a LOT and I trust them. I trust few of the "front range" crew. You have to get our support before you'll get ANYTHING done and so far it's the same old government story. I find it difficult to waste even this much time on it. Come up with a BI PARTISAN plan that my rep's can support and I'll consider supporting it. I DO talk to a LOT of people each and every day. By john wray on 2011 03 24
John - You keep saying Obamacare is bad. I keep saying Colorado can do better by independently designing our own system. You don't want anything to do with government-controlled health care. I see that SB11-168 seeks to remove a lot of the government control of our health system by keeping our health care dollars in an independent protected trust and not part of the state's General Budget. You keep saying rural doctors won't participate in Obamacare. I keep saying we need SB11-168 to see how we can design a system that supports those docs and builds more private health resources in underserved areas like rural Colorado. You complain about direct-jobs programs through government. I say we need to reduce health insurance expense burden so that capitalism can grow its own jobs across all industries with the savings. It turns out we are not so different after all. The difference comes down to what we decide to focus on: the problems we know or the solutions we can create. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 24
IF the "independent commission" was comprised of small business people, I'd be glad to consider it, but if it has ANYTHING to do with the government controlling it, then I don't want ANYTHING to do with it. when you can tell me how well our government has done with ss and medicare, I'll listen to you, but of course you can't. EVERYTHING the government has done with money is broke. Unless we get away from that we have NO chance of improving the situation. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and I'm sure you know that, but you seem to ignore my point about rural health care being destroyed. The DOCTORS won't do it. I have MANY doctor friends and NONE of them intend to participate. Most rural doctors are wonderful people who care about their patients as opposed to the metro situation. The already have to pay two extra staff people to process medicare and medicaid and know what a govt program will do. To a person, they intend to retire if forced to participate. that's the law of unintended consequences that liberals just can't get grasp of. It goes on and on and gets worse at every step. It's kind of like the governors "ground up" jobs program (that I am on) that acts like the government can create a job. The ONLY job they can create is a government job which takes ANOTHER ONE OR MORE out of the private theater. this simply will NOT work the way it's set up and I will be eternally grateful that liberals don't have a majority to get it throught the legislature now. By john wray on 2011 03 24
John - I still haven't heard any specifics from you regarding your opposition to SB11-168, other than a ACA-directed opposition to anything you decide to label "government." I'm guessing that means you don't accept Social Security or use Medicare. Please correct me if I am wrong. Do you have any real specific issues with Colorado seeking an independent, innovative alternative to federal health care reform? Also, calling a fact an opinion (and vice-versa) doesn't magically make it one. Real critical thinkers will see through your "sweeping generalizations" argument, as I haven't posted anything I can't document and prove. I understand your frustration with government, but that is why SB11-168 is much better than what we have now or will have under the ACA. It seeks to return the power to the people. The ACA only gives more power to the big-business private insurers, who reciprocate through campaign contributions to the government power brokers in both parties. My personal doubts about the ACA are due to the fact that special big-business interests (health insurance companies) wrote it. In that regard, I agree that government is indeed broken. We have more local power and control at the state level, though -- more responsive to people, communities, and real small businesses. One state will figure things out and fix it first. It would be great if that state were Colorado. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 24
I'm sorry, but I guess I'm always stunned that ANYONE can believe that our government can get anything right. Small business can and only they. If I could join my nationwide organizations plans, I could cut my costs by 1/3, but that competition is barred. The sweeping generalizations by Nathan are OPINIONS and ONLY OPINIONS that have NOT been proven and that have little chance of being proven. By john wray on 2011 03 24
there's an old adage about government that any "cost estimate" for a governemt program should be tripled. You just don't get that. This bill is a government program and is doomed to fail, especially without COMPLETE bi partisan support which it will never get because of the current climate in government. There is NO more give and take and until our conservative rookies get more say, there's no chance for sensible compromises. This is a waste of time. How about obama care's TOTAL "miscalculations" and the already HUGE hc increases for small businesses. In fact a large number of companies have pulled out of rural areas so the "choices" that have been promised will never materialize. Rural care is doomed under obamacare AND this poorly put together state joke of a hc program. By john wray on 2011 03 24
Starbucks had long admitted that health insurance costs for their company was more than what they spend on coffee beans. Starbucks CEO, Howard Schulz, recently said "we have faced double-digit increases for almost five consecutive years with no end in sight." This was before the ACA. He recognized that the MANDATE to purchase costly PRIVATE insurance is harmful to small businesses. This is exactly why we need to explore the opportunity in SB11-168. The Cooperative would present a plan that would show lower costs to small business. The Cooperative is an attempt to "start over" as you suggest, as the plan presented would offer Colorado an independent option for self-destiny that is not reliant upon the ACA. We are Colorado and we can do it better. We just need SB11-168 to give us accurate information first. Without that, we have to follow the lead of the federal government. Simply trying to undo any reform at all would mean status quo -- continued double-digit increases, more people losing coverage, and a faster unraveling of the health insurance system. I don't know where you get your NFIB numbers, but the ones I see in quotes from NFIB executives suggest that premium increases could be around 20%. Still ridiculously high, but nowhere close to your 40-65% suggestion. I would appreciate a reference, as I tried in vain to find one to support your argument. My personal experience is that I've had about a 10% increase most recently, where previous years were routinely 20-35%. The lack of cost control in the ACA will eventually be its undoing. Universal participation is one method to help contain costs, but the individual mandate as written is not sufficient enough. All it does is guarantee taxpayer and workers will be funneling billions more dollars to health insurers. SB11-168 would let Colorado evaluate the system as a whole -- tackling access issues and cost control simultaneously and in a real and tangible way. Bipartisanship is not necessarily the panacea you might expect. As a case in point, consider the Exchange bill that was just introduced this week. It has bipartisan co-authorship. However, it lacks any cost control mechanisms. As it stands now, the Exchange is forbidden from helping reduce costs of plans in the Exchange through what is known as "active purchasing." This was one of the key recommendations of the NAIC. The provision was stripped by Republicans at the request of insurer-dominated business groups. So, we end up with something ostensibly "bipartisan" but it fails to address the runaway cost inflation that ultimately hurts both your business and mine. I think you would find SB11-168 to be a good idea if you took an honest look at it, rather than assuming incorrectly that it is some kind of extension of "Obamacare." There is a lot as independent business owners we actually agree on. Several Republicans I talked to at the Capitol yesterday expressed interest when they saw it as a way to truly address cost control and create a better climate for business. Plus, SB11-168 allowing Colorado to chart its own destiny in health care -- with smaller government involvement -- was seen as a major plus. The only Republican bill proposed thus far would require that we get into bed with some other random state, such as Tennessee, (through "interstate compacts") and jointly develop health care reform. So we would have to deal with TWO state governments AND additional inter-relational government boards to get anything done. Sounds like pretty dumb big-government to me. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 24
btw, the CEO of Starbucks who was an avid supporter of obama care has now seen the light. He finally figured out that it would increase costs in a huge way. NFIB estimates that small business increases will be between 40 and 65%. Mine is 40% THIS YEAR because of obamacare so I guess I should consider myself lucky. Colorado HAS to start over and get a BI PARTISAN approach to this or the state, like this nation, will be horribly split for a very long time. By john wray on 2011 03 24
Ivan, there's direct pay and indirect pay; yours is indirect. You couldn't be MORE obvious in you presentation of a failed and misdirected bill. You don't really have a clue, imho, about the real effects of this bill and you've ignored EVERY single fact that I've presented you. You are a lobbyist period, no matter what your "pay" is or isn't By john wray on 2011 03 16
John and Bill, I take umbrage with what you have said about me. My identity is not a secret, however, I am not paid. I volunteer as Senator Aguilar's Health Policy Advisor. SB 168 was written incorporating the concerns of a wide range of people and economic considerations, and I believe it is unfair to call it communist. It has been designed with the interests of consumers, providers, and employers in mind. I am providing information on blogs because that is one forum for people to learn, and I think it is unfair to call that harassment. My information is usually footnoted, and I make every effort to make sure it is accurate. I do care about people who cannot receive health care, and I believe that it is wrong that we pay so much more for a system that keeps so many without health care when we could cooperate as a community, pay less, and have everyone have health care. Many societies do this all over the world without having communism. That is the motivation of most of the people in Health Care for All Colorado and Denver Health and Hospitals where many of the uninsured and underinsured are cared for. If I were CACI or NFIB, I would not support SB 168 because it would be disruptive to the organization to have the health insurers' businesses become obsolete because of a better system that benefited the other members. I would not want the disruption and internal conflict. As a businessman and in discussions with many other business people, there is a great desire to look for solutions that remove business from responsibility for health care. I believe that when examined closely, realistically, and fairly, most people will find SB 168 to be a great step forward for consumers, providers and employers. By Ivan J. Miller on 2011 03 16
John and Bill, I take umbrage with what you have said about me. My identity is not a secret, however, I am not paid. I volunteer as Senator Aguilar's Health Policy Advisor. SB 168 was written incorporating the concerns of a wide range of people and economic considerations, and I believe it is unfair to call it communist. It has been designed with the interests of consumers, providers, and employers in mind. I am providing information on blogs because that is one forum for people to learn, and I think it is unfair to call that harassment. My information is usually footnoted, and I make every effort to make sure it is accurate. I do care about people who cannot receive health care, and I believe that it is wrong that we pay so much more for a system that keeps so many without health care when we could cooperate as a community, pay less, and have everyone have health care. Many societies do this all over the world without having communism. That is the motivation of most of the people in Health Care for All Colorado and Denver Health and Hospitals where many of the uninsured and underinsured are cared for. If I were CACI or NFIB, I would not support SB 168 because it would be disruptive to the organization to have the health insurers' businesses become obsolete because of a better system that benefited the other members. I would not want the disruption and internal conflict. As a businessman and in discussions with many other business people, there is a great desire to look for solutions that remove business from responsibility for health care. I believe that when examined closely, realistically, and fairly, SB 168 will be a great step forward for consumers, providers and employers. By Ivan J. Miller on 2011 03 16
thank you Bill. I guessed that he was a paid shill, but it's good to know it. I refuse to let these idiots post lie after lie. I'm glad to hear that it has no chance to pass. I DO KNOW that the eastern plains Congressmen will not support it. They KNOW what will happen to rural medical care if this monstrosity passes. Facts are facts, rural doctors WILL NOT support this bill and there's a good reason that the MAIN supporter for small business, (NFIB & CHAMBER) are against it. These socialists figured out the internet before we did but we're catching on fast. Keep posting the truth Bill By john wray on 2011 03 16
John, don't let these people get to you; Ivan miller is sen. Aguilar's aide, who testified on the bill and has been harassing anyone who opposes the bill on every website, and the rest of these communist jokers are from the group "Health Care For All Colorado" which is where Aguilar came from as well as Denver Health. These people want you to believe that everyone should pay for each others health and that the government should be responsible for managing the program. Yeah, cause it's handled unemployment so well. The best part is, thus bill will die; whether in the senate or the house it has no hope, because no one but communists want this system. By Bill on 2011 03 16
If it's government run, it's obamacare. I guess you missed that point. Your "studies" are meaningless and your idea that this bill would help rural Colorado again, ignored what I've posted all along. Please listen this time; THE DOCTORS WILL NOT DO THIS. I've talked to 12 and EVERYONE says the same thing, that it takes 2 to 3 extra people just to get paid by ANY government agency. these are primarily elderly doctors and will NOT be told what to do. They will simply retire. these are a different breed of doctor out here. They tend to be old school and are working because they feel an obligation to. Our primary surgeon is 73 years old and he's outstanding, and without him we're in trouble. This is called the "law of unintended consequences" and NO legislator or proponent of this law has any idea what's REALLY going to happen because they NEVER actually talk to the people involved. All you "front range" people don't have a clue. btw, most of the health insurance companies simply will NOT offer coverage "out here" so your "competition" idea is also unrealistic. again the law of unintended consequences strikes and rural colorado is screwed AGAIN. By john wray on 2011 03 15
John, Since you live on the eastern plains, you might be interested in the "10 Reasons SB 168 Is Good for Rural Colorado." These include helping to solve the provider shortage, covering everyone's health care, and affordable rates for small businesses. This is available at . In addition, as a business person, you might be interested in "Quality Health Care through Market Competition." This is available at . The Cooperative is really a uniquely Colorado solution that involves creating real competition and market forces where it matters, in the delivery of health care. The current system had middlemen (insurers) compete to enroll beneficiaries. That is not the kind of competition that is best for a health care system. By Ivan J. Miller on 2011 03 15
I have been a licensed life and health insurance broker for 40 years, and stopped selling health insurance about 18 years ago (I'm a slow learner) when I finally realized that the cherry picking insurance companies were making huge profits most of which went out of state. Most all insurance administrative jobs are also out of state which is one reason that a local health care cooperative will create more jobs in Colorado than our current fragmented system, while covering everyone at less cost. By Bob Carlsten on 2011 03 15
John -- Why do you keep talking about "Obamacare" when this post and discussion is about planning for a Colorado-specific alternative to the federal health care reform you detest so much? I am not suggesting AT ALL that Obamacare be explicitly defended. Of course insurance companies will cite PPACA as the reason for premium increases, but the studies show that the increase due to PPACA is minimal -- less than 5%. I have years of data to show that insurance premiums were increasing at double digit rates every year prior. You can look up the public testimony I gave at a US Congressional hearing on 10/15/09 for specific shocking premium data at the company I used to work for before starting my own business. While I personally fought for protections like an end to lifetime caps, there is much I still don't like about PPACA -- since a neglect to address insurance cost drivers means I still have to pay well over $20K/year per family for spotty coverage. I suggest you look closer at SB11-168 as a way Colorado can actually get out from under what is bad about PPACA, while making our system better for both people and businesses. Your employees and your business's bottom line deserve no less than to see the blueprint that SB11-168 would offer. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 15
A FACT for you Nathan; the NFIB and the Chamber DO speak for the vast majorith of small businesses and the polls and statistics PROVE that. You m ake sweeping generalizations which demonstrates a certain arrogance, imho. I would suggest that the only small businessmen that "talk" to you are ones of your obvious political persuasion. I'm on the eastern plains, which is admittedly conservative, and I can find NO small business person who wants ANYTHING to do with obama care of anything related to it. I suspect that the election in 2012 will take care of this problem for a long time and I believe that conservatives must only defund and block any liberal legislation until then. I like our chances, because the Dem's have run this economy into the ditch. PLEASE don't bore me with Bush references, because he can't hold a candle to what Obama's done. Fact #2; I talked to FIVE insurance companies this year when renewing my hc policy for my business and EVERYONE of them cited obama care as the reason for my 40% INCREASE in premium. Of course that is true because we had to add HUGE mandates; (kids until 26, which was entirely unneccessary) and mandatory coverages. Lets not discuss what MIGHT be nice, lets discuss what we can afford and we CAN'T afford obama care. more and more info keeps coming out about how obama hid costs etc etc etc and you know that. We CANNOT trust any government to do something better that the private market. It's called CApitalism and it's worked for a VERY long time; in fact better than ANYTHING in history. I've got a sign on my front door: "Capitalism isn't perfect but it's better than government." By john wray on 2011 03 15
John - All I said is that they don't speak for ALL of us, which is true. I do speak only for myself, but I have had scores of other business owners voice their support for the type of universal health care system that I talk about, including developing a blueprint to discuss, like SB11-168 does. CACI may have been opposed to SB11-168 at the Senate committee hearing, but dozens of business owners showed up or testified in support at the Senate Business Labor & Technology committee hearing. Have you ever seen who is on the CACI Board of Directors? It is stacked with health and insurance industry representation that would rather not see any change to the current private insurance system. Also of note, from CACI's own website, their Healthcare Council "include experts from the health insurance and health provider industries." I would call that a direct conflict of interest. I presented the concept of a universal health care system at a CACI meeting a few years ago, and actually got a lot of favorable feedback and interest (and no negative comments) from individual members and business owners. However, CACI's decisions come from the top-down, not from the bottom-up. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 15
you can ONLY speak for yourself. trying to assert that the NFIB and the Chamber don't speak for "small business" is arrogant and incorrect By john wray on 2011 03 15
As a small business owner that networks with hundreds of other small business owners daily, I can assure you that the Chambers of Commerce and NFIB do *not* speak for all of us, particularly when it comes to health care reform. We are all hurting due to the rising costs of private insurance, and these organizations have historically spoken in the interest of health insurance companies and brokers. Where we do agree (at least with some of the metro-area Chambers that I know) is that employers should be removed from the selection and administration of health insurance policies for their workers. Employees don't like being stuck in a substandard plan, and employers don't like having to try and pick something that meets the diverse needs of employees. More often than not, they are forced to give up basic insurance protections simply to keep premiums affordable. For example, I worked for one employer that was forced by United Health Care to go -- in just one year's time -- from $0 deductible and reasonable copays to $10,000/year deductible for the same premium. That was in 2005, several years before any mention of national health care reform. And it kept getting worse from there. That high deductible meant even skilled, well-paid engineers were maxing out credit cards to pay for childbirth and forgoing emergency room visits they couldn't afford to be stitched up with needle and thread on a friend's kitchen table. That's not the kind of Western frontier mentality we need. SB11-168 is. For real information on SB11-168, I encourage you to visit: or By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 15
I don't understand why a discussion on health care reform has to devolve into liberal vs. conservative bashing. This is about working together to imagine and design a system to increase efficiency, increase access, improve quality, and lower costs for all of us (your business and your favorite doctors included). I also don't understand how you can equate SB11-168 to the faults in PPACA or "Obamacare" as you put it. SB11-168 is the only way Colorado can take a first step to actually replace "Obamacare"... and the only way we can leverage states' rights to build a better system that works for Colorado. John, you and your doctor friends are no doubt talking only about PPACA, and haven't studied what the rest of us here are talking about, which is the opportunity to replace PPACA with something that works for all of Colorado. SB11-168 actually builds upon the strengths in existing plans like Kaiser and the nationally-acclaimed Rocky Mountain Health Plan (which rural Coloradans on the Western Slope love). (John -- hopefully, they will let you repost the comments you made without deletion.) By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 15
I will reference my FACTS for you: Health Insurance Mandates in the States 2010 (put out by CAHI, an insurance industry group) (You can compare all states yourself and see that CO is in the middle of the pack.) Republican Congressman on Fox News explaining that selling insurance across state lines is designed to get around state coverage mandates: (Note: he falsely states that some states cover hair replacement and aromatherapy as "mandates". Ten states, not including CO, cover hair prosthesis, which are wigs designed for patients that have lost their hair due to disease or treatment such as chemotherapy. This is *NOT* Hair Club for Men or similar replacement therapy. No states mandate aromatherapy coverage.) Insurance Companies Initially Unwilling to Offer Health Insurance Policies (also includes a lot of interesting history on the development of health insurance in the US, including how "experience rating" -- selling cheap policies to relatively healthy populations -- catapulted for-profit insurers past the original nonprofit Blues that had to use "community rating") It is simple economics and common sense that if the cost of doing business decreases (lower overhead) and the quality of life improves (better health care), then it will bring jobs and money to Colorado. I have yet to find a study to contradict that. I won't provide links to the countless stories about the burdensome administrative toll that our current system takes on providers, particularly in primary care. Those are easy enough to find by the dozens with a simple Google search. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 15
thou doth protest too much. I love to expose liberals because when you mention and IDENTIFY their motives, they get so upset like you did. You prove my point; OF COURSE it's socialistic to take from the rich and give to the poor. Now there are parts of our society that ARE socialistic but they MUST be limited and finally for the first time in a couple of decades conservatives have woken up. You guys have had it for a couple more decades. Thanks for the help in exposing you though. I really don't need your help because you expose yourself. By john wray on 2011 03 12
I am surprise that the terms "socialist" and "communist" have not been used yet. I will go to church tonight and pray to the Virgin Mary Palin. Ok. I am having to much fun! By Bob Vidal on 2011 03 12
btw, you should really watch SOMETHING else buy MSNBC. I watch it, if only to know what the opposition is up to, but as soon as you posted a comment like "fox facts" you ABSOLUTLEY destroyed your credibility and exposed yourself as one of the MSNBC sheep. A rational thinking and fair thinker wouldn't even post such trash. They would depend on their own analysis. don't try to evade; even mentioning "FOX FACTS" exposed you. Thank God, you ARE in the small minority. By john wray on 2011 03 12
I'm always amazed how liberals leave out the part of our constitution that tells us we can PURSUE certain rights. It says NOTHING about the government giving us these things. I'm also amazed that anyone who has been in business in this country for more than a decade could trust the government to do anything right. Neither you nor I speak for "business" even though I've been a businessman for 40 years. The only organization that "speaks" for American business is the NFIB who is recognized by EVERYONE, including Congress, as the number one advocate for small business, and they are adamantly against this hc debacle. They have people smarter and more experienced than you or I who have studied this in detail. It will destroy small business and destroy health care, especially for rural areas. I have SPECIFICALLY discussed this with 13 rural doctors and their response is universal. If forced to participate in this program they will retire. Rural health care is finished if this mess gets passed. As the typical metro liberal that probably doesn't mean much to you, but I'd suspect that metro doctors will leave the medical field in droves, although I haven't talked to any of them. By john wray on 2011 03 12
I guess Nathan is not using "Fox Facts". As a business owner serving other small businesses, I believe that a universal health care system, where the individual owns the policy, not the employer, administered under a single payer system, whether administered by "people" in the public or private sector, is the best thing that can happen to small business and the establishment of a health care system. Rich or poor, employed or unemployed we have all "earned" the right to life and the pursuit of happiness. Health care plays an important role in the sustainability of these rights. By Bob Vidal on 2011 03 12
btw, doctor "support" is a fiction. I don't know WHO you talked to, but you couldn't be more wrong. I've SPECIFICALLY talked to 13 RURAL doctors on this subject and EVERY ONE says that they will not cooperate and will retire if they're forced to. that's called the "law of unintended consequences" and it usually applies to liberal dreams. Rural Colorado will NOT have medical care if this passes. How much are they paying you to lobby for this monstrosity?? I've been a businessman for 40 years and I pay the bills. Neither me or my employees want this and the large majority of rural people think the same. I can only pray that you are unable to brainwash many people. By john wray on 2011 03 12
Nathan, that was one of the most misleading and manipulative posts that I have ever read. Almost nothing that you posted was true. I guess that I just can't understand why ANYONE would trust our government. It's PRIVATE business that has created everything that is good about this country. I suppose that liberals, although in a small minority, think that they are a majority. Thank God, that conservatives finally woke up and hopefully will be still awake in 2012 so that we can get rid of obama care entirely. I wonder if you've ever read the study that verified that ANY govt program "estimate" on cost can be approx TRIPLED to be accurate. obamacare is a wolf in sheeps clothing. My employees know that a lot better than you do. They KNOW that govt health care will force them to give up their private hc and of course, that's true. By john wray on 2011 03 12
Sorry, John, but selling insurance across state lines is only about a race to the bottom to avoid state-approved mandates. It is why everyone incorporates in Delaware and offers credit cards out of South Dakota -- business profits. In this case, insurer profits. Insurers want to set up shop in a state that caters to their interests, namely selling insurance plans with as few mandated coverages as possible. In Colorado we have 51 mandates, while in Idaho there are only 13. If selling across state lines were permitted, then you would see a flood of cheap underinsurance products being sold from Idaho into Colorado. And purchasers in CO would have little to no recourse under state law if they had a problem. So what do insurers have to cover in CO that they don't in ID? Common sense things such as autism, colorectal cancer screening, diabetes supplies, hearing aids for children, hospice care, HPV vaccines, maternity care, mental health parity, prostate cancer screening, and well child care, just to name a few. Idaho also lacks coverage requirements for the following providers: midwives, chiropractors, dentists, any type of nurse (anesthetists, LNPs, etc.), oral surgeons, psychologists, social workers, and more. We don't want or need competition among insurers seeking to carve out more and more profits by denying care and cutting out common-sense (NOT excessive) mandates. We need competition between providers, and only SB11-168 is talking about that and offering up a common sense solution that works for consumers, business, and providers. If Colorado is successful in reducing the business burden of insurance (like SB11-168 plans to do), then many new businesses and high-quality workers would come to Colorado, bringing money, opportunity, and even cars for you to supply parts for in Sterling. Insurance companies seeking to make a profit is not what created this country. In fact, insurers didn't even want to get in the business of health insurance in the beginning. But they sure did jump in once they saw how they could make excessive profits on the suffering and misery of the ill. SB11-168 even has strong support and interest among most doctors I've spoken to, who would rather spend their time doing what they love -- practicing medicine and helping their patients, instead of what they do now, which is a lot of insurance-induced paperwork, fighting insurers, writing prescriptions that don't get filled because the drugs cost too much, and other administrative nightmares induced by our current system. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 12
We could not have true competition because of something that none of the liberals seem to want to talk about; excessive mandates and limiting competition within a state. Being able to cross state lines would have dropped costs approx 30% and being able to join together across state lines would have done the same. Democratic Congress prevented that and drove up costs. If my business could have joined with thousands of others who are similar then our costs would have been much lower. Liberals caused this and now complain about criticism. The insurance companies are a business and must make profit which is what CREATED this country. If liberals succeed in ruining competition then we are doomed as a country. No liberal seems to want to talk about trading private jobs for govt jobs, which is what will happen if they get their way. Dreamers will be the ruin of the greatest country in the history of mankind. Even our great Democratic presidents said that govt employees MUST not be able to unionize. Liberals also ignore the DOCTORS who will NOT participate in this debacle. What then??? By john wray on 2011 03 12
We don't have free market competition in health care today, since you are stuck with the network your employer picks for you. PPACA has irritated people at both ends of the political spectrum for different reasons: failure to offer choice in a public option, failure to address costs, leaving millions without access, not giving states more control, etc. Businesses have been seeing rising insurance premiums every year for decades, long before most Americans had even heard of Obama. SB11-168 is a good idea to address the concerns of Colorado in an open and transparent way without actually forcing anyone into a system. It is about the design only, and is focused on several important questions: How do we improve access in rural CO? How do we further reduce medical cost inflation without harming provider reimbursement rates? How do we inject competition and free market principles into health care where there are none now? How do we reduce the burden to all business and make their contributions both low and predictable? How do we develop a system focused on quality of patient care rather than quantity of patient care? How do we create a system that costs less and encourages entrepreneurship and job growth? How do we simplify our system to reduce the need for bureaucracy and regulations? How do we make it accessible to all Coloradans without resorting to government bureaucracy and means testing? Any business owner, rural Coloradan, or person otherwise burdened under the current system would be a fool not to want to see the output of SB11-168. Either we put our heads together to see what we can do for ourselves in Colorado, or we must be content with continued double-digit premium increases and insurance plan degradation year after year, foisted upon us by federal legislation and out-of-state private insurance companies who only care about their profit and not Colorado health. By Nathan Wilkes on 2011 03 11
The truth is always in the details and you've got the details right. Go forth and multiply. By chris angle on 2011 03 11
If Private Sectors could do it, people would not be in arm with the insurance companies. Insurance companies have failed to provide health care, and they happen to be for profit entities. Why the people who are against government cannot see this. Private insurance companies have failed us. I strongley support SB-168, even if you call it Fred instead of coopertive. My best friend and also a student of mine both died, because they could not access the health care system. SB-168 saves money, saves lives. What else do I want? It is a perfect Bill. By Roya Brown on 2011 03 11
btw, I am a Colorado businessman and I DO NOT WANT THE STATE INVOLVED. It will ruin a great system.The deadbeats who CHOOSE not to buy insurance don't need us to pay for theirs. If they qualify for medicaid then they can go that way. Now here's the "law of unintended consequences" for you. Rural doctors will NOT take these patients because it costs TOO much right now. I've talked to a dozen doctors and they ALL say that they will retire if they HAVE to accept these patients. It takes TWO TO THREE extra admin staff to get paid and that'll only get worse. This will DESTROY our system By john wray on 2011 03 11
competition is what made this country and is what made it the best. EVERYTHING run by government can be tripled for REAL costs. Allowing insurance to be carried across state lines is what would have created competition. With state run insurance, lobbyists would skyrocket because they are who will influence the government workers. TRADING PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS FOR GOVERNMENT JOBS is what got us in this hole in the first place. Of course, the state insurance jobs would have to have collective bargaining etc etc etc By john wray on 2011 03 11
There are certain things that should not be left to competition. Peoples' health is one of them. We have only to look at the disastrous current healthcare system to see that. Our current financial state is a prime example of the innovation that pure competition drives. No thanks. By Sherry Law on 2011 03 11
SB 168 is likely to have a net increase in jobs in Colorado. Studies of comparable universal health care systems suggest a net job increase from 28,000 to 65,000. It also creates real competition in health care, competition for quality and outcomes. It includes a market component at the provider level, not at the insurance middleman level. Because the current system is so inefficient, the Cooperative that would be designed by SB 168 would likely be able to fund health care for everyone in the state for less money than the current system. A comparable study indicates that universal health care could reduce health care expenditures by $1.4 billion or $285/person. It is likely to increase disposable income and lower employer's contributions to health care. More information is available at,, and It is important to pass SB 168 so that Colorado business can evaluate the design and impact, and the opposition does not want Coloradans to see the design. By Ivan J. Miller on 2011 03 11
I love it when a liberal posts such complete untruths. It exposes you to ridicule and your "side" becomes less credible. Are my employees or the majority of small business employees the "few" or stupid??? They DO NOT want obama care because they can add. There is no way that all those dead beats who will get insurance can be insured without adding costs and now we found that obamacare has hidden 1 1/2 BILLION in the bill that wasn't "counted" in the costs. hmmm I wonder why??? and we can trust our government to tell us the truth??? NOT. My employees KNOW that when the penalty is less than the insurance that small businesses WILL dump them into the government pool and they will lose their "choice." The whole obama care thing was a classic scam and people who can add know it. By john wray on 2011 03 11
yeah it works - for the chosen few. By chris angle on 2011 03 11
of course private health care is working. What planet are you on. The only real question, is whether hard working citizens should pay for the dead beats. we have between 30 and 40% of our country that thinks the government should pay for everything that they want. There were a dozen ways that our system could have been improved but Democrats and liberals have stopped it at every turn. I have ALWAYS provided hc insurance for my employees (40yrs) and they like their insurance and are scared that they will have to go to a govt plan, which they will if the Dem's get their way. That's realism not pipe dreams and my employees are MUCH smarter than most voters. By john wray on 2011 03 11
And is private sector health care working? By most measurements it is not. By chris angle on 2011 03 11
One point was skimmed over about the single payer; if the government does it, it WILL fail; if private industry does it; it will succeed. There are SO FEW examples of any successful government programs that they aren't worth mentioning. Trading private workers for government workers is a recipe for disaster. Reality folks. By john wray on 2011 03 10
The argument against a single payer are always amuzing. A single payer system is exactly that, a payer system, the private sector could be the administrators of the payer system. Europe and Asia's private sector is the backbone of a payer system. To say that a single payer system, will displace 20,000 workers is a bit disingenuous. Wouldn't you need the same people to manage this payer system? What are they doing today? Are health claims go away under a single payer system? Insurance companies and Government bureaucrats come from the same cloth. so what is the argument? By Bob Vidal on 2011 03 10
I totally agree. It's simpler to me; if the government has a hand in it, it will fail. By john wray on 2011 03 10

Leave a comment

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

ColoradoBiz TV

Loading the player ...

Featured Video