by Deane Waldman
Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis famously urged the states to become “laboratories of democracy” (New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 1932) by testing new, alternative ideas of governance. Colorado is heeding his advice. Under their Governor Jared Polis’ leadership, the 2019 Colorado Legislative Session passed a number of bills that increase state control of healthcare.
The purpose of Governor Polis’ reforms is clear from his Executive Order to establish the “Office of Saving People Money on Health Care.” Will his plan, called the Colorado Affordable Health Care Option or CAHCO, save money for consumers? Will it reduce state spending? What will be the effect on access to care?
CAHCO has financial controls similar to federal Medicare-for-All bill, H.R. 1384, and could be called Medicare-for-All “Lite.” HB 1174 puts caps on Emergency Room charges. HB 1216 places price controls on insulin and potentially other medications.