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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, September 20, 2014

State News: Lawmakers Back in the Health Care Hot Seat this Week

Wrangling over health care reform continues in Washington this week, and a vote that could mean a lot to Colorado workers is expected. A Senate committee could take up an amendment Tuesday that would give workers the option to choose a government-sponsored health care plan rather than what their employer offers.

Ron Pollack with Families USA says Colorado workers can use relief from health care costs. His group has found that insurance premiums in the state have grown more than four times faster than incomes since the turn of the century. Believe it or not, he says, that’s actually a little better than the nationwide average.

“Health insurance premiums for family coverage in the U.S. rose by 93 percent on average, nationwide. Median earnings rose by only 19 percent.”

Pollack says even the rising premiums in Colorado have not stopped an erosion of what the insurance pays for.

“These increasing premium costs are purchasing thinner coverage, coverage that comes with higher deductibles, higher co-payments and less coverage.”

Families USA favors health care reform, including some kind of robust public option. Critics have attacked that as a government takeover of a profitable industry, but Pollack warns that doing nothing would be a disaster for American businesses and families.

The Families USA number is 202-628-3030; the study is available at www.familiesusa.org.

— Colorado News Connection

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