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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Sunday, August 31, 2014

State News: Groups Urge Lawmakers to Use Same Health Care 'Dictionary'

The debate over health care reform is intensifying in Washington, and President Obama said Monday that the health care industry is on board. But health care watchdogs and lawmakers in Colorado say it’s important that everyone be working from the same health care dictionary, especially when it comes to defining what constitutes “affordable” health insurance and just how much coverage is “adequate.”

An estimated 83 percent of Coloradans struggling with high health care bills today have insurance, and research shows that many families are skimping on other necessities to fit health care into their budgets.

Colorado’s U.S. Senator Michael Bennet said reform must be far-reaching.

“It’s simply unsustainable. It has created such a burden for our middle-class families, who are already struggling to pay their bills in these extremely tough economic times,” Bennet said.

Colorado U.S. Representative Diana DeGette said Coloradans need a health care system that can keep them healthy and productive without breaking the bank, no matter how unique or difficult their health situations.

“The package that we pass — we feel strongly that it needs to cover everybody. It needs to be affordable, and people need to be able to take it with them when they move.”

Underscoring the importance of a “health care dictionary,” additional research from the Colorado Health Foundation argues that a “one size fits all” approach is likely to fail, and that a plan that takes care of those with the lowest incomes as well as those with complex medical problems is essential. Critics say that such a plan would be far too costly.

Research is available at familiesusa.org, cclponline.org and coloradohealth.org.

— Colorado News Connection

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