Health reform fact check: Colorado’s delegation
This is the fifth in a series of fact checks examining the health care reform plan heading through Congress. Read the complete text of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 here.
One aspect of health reform is universally agreed upon: America’s system is broken and needs to be fixed in order to provide affordable, quality care for years to come.
Where disagreements arise, however, is in determining what exactly in the system needs tinkering. There is no shortage of opinions on the subject, and politicians and constituents alike are weighing in at every opportunity.
Colorado’s delegation — comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans — has expressed broad support for insurance-industry regulations that would eliminate coverage denials for people with pre-existing conditions and that would allow greater portability of insurance plans for workers who switch jobs.
There also is cross-aisle support for keeping health reform fiscally responsible.
The seven Democrats mostly agree that any reform plan should seek to cut overall health care costs by promoting wellness, increasing efficiency, rooting out fraud, and eliminating unnecessary tests.
The two Republicans support offering tax credits to individuals — similar to the ones offered to businesses — to help lower the premium costs when they buy their own insurance. They also support tort reforms related to medical malpractice and other health care cases.
The table below is a breakdown of other specific ideas Colorado’s legislators have presented.
|Name||Ideas for health reform|
|Sen. Michael Bennet (D)||Preserve choice of health insurance; invest in medical research; supports public insurance option but says reform shouldn’t hinge on this issue; address challenges of health care in rural areas.|
|Sen. Mark Udall (D)||Keep insurance rates reasonable; address the shortage of doctors and health care services in rural areas|
|Rep. Mike Coffman (R, CD-6)||Opposes taxes on small businesses who don’t offer health insurance to employees; opposes public insurance option and single-payer plans.|
|Rep. Diana DeGette (D, CD-1)||Supports public option for health insurance as a means of adding competition to the market, thereby lowering costs; strengthen the health care workforce and primary care and community health services; eliminate gender ratings for health insurance.|
|Rep. Doug Lamborn (R, CD-5)||Introduce free-market reforms to control health care costs; opposes public insurance option and single-payer health plan; allow health savings accounts; allow health insurance to be sold across state lines; opposes funding for abortions in federal reform plans.|
|Rep. Betsy Markey (D, CD-4)||Opposes adding people to Medicare and Medicaid until reforms are made to those systems; supports public insurance option as long as its funding is self-sustaining without taxpayer support; supports budget-neutral reform plan; opposes surtax on wealthy individuals and businesses.|
|Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D, CD-7)||Supports public insurance option; create outcome-based schedule of tests and procedures.|
|Rep. Jared Polis (D, CD-2)||Supports public insurance option; opposes surtax on small businesses.|
|Rep. John Salazar (D, CD-3)||Allow people to keep their current insurance plan and their doctors; address health care challenges in rural areas; supports a budget-neutral reform plan.|
FACT CHECK 1: Euthanasia of the elderly
FACT CHECK 2: Keeping your insurance