Monday, April 21, 2008


Landmark Public-Private
Health Care Proposal Advances

DENVER—Today the full Senate gave initial approval to Centennial Care Choices, a proposal that aims to decrease Colorado’s uninsured population by helping individuals and businesses obtain affordable health insurance through balanced public-private partnerships.

Sponsored by Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Senator Bob Hagedorn (D-Aurora), the plan is targeted at Coloradans who earn too much to receive Medicaid but don't buy insurance.

“Colorado’s uninsured population is having a serious impact on the cost of health insurance and to the health care delivery system in our state,” said Hagedorn. “The majority of Americans do not want a big government health program, but something they can have faith in and something that gives them choices. Centennial Care Choices will get us there.”

The proposal includes:
A request for health insurers to create a menu of “Value Benefit Plans” (VBPs) that would be evaluated and endorsed by the state and would be made available to all Coloradans.
Assistance to low income individuals and employees of businesses through a state subsidy of a portion of the VBP premium for those who do not qualify for government programs and cannot afford health insurance.
Assurance that this program builds upon the existing employer-based health insurance system, does not encourage businesses currently offering coverage to discontinue it, and promotes administrative efficiencies.

Supported by Representative Anne McGihon (D-Denver), Senator Steve Johnson (R-Ft Collins), Representative Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs) and Representative Ellen Roberts (R-Durango), Centennial Care Choices will next be considered by the full Senate on third and final reading.