In a plan to set hospital prices, Colorado could see the mother of all health care battles | VailDaily.com

In a plan to set hospital prices, Colorado could see the mother of all health care battles

John Ingold, Colorado Sun

Colorado hospitals and state regulators may be about to launch into the biggest health care fight the state has seen in decades, over a detail in the newly announced plan for a public health insurance option.

The plan would let Colorado officials limit what hospitals can charge to people who have coverage through the public insurance option. What’s more, the state is prepared to require hospitals to accept the insurance — potentially making Colorado the first state to mandate hospital participation in a public insurance option and setting up a battle that could attract national attention.

Government control over hospital pricing — what is sometimes called “rate setting” — has gained steam in recent years among left-leaning groups and politicians nationwide as a way to control health care costs.

At a presentation Tuesday morning in Denver to a roomful of health care industry representatives and policy advocates, state officials explained their push for price controls and mandatory participation with both a smile and a snarl.

“If our hospital systems don’t participate, this won’t work,” Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway told the crowd. “…We can’t allow that to happen.”

Read more via The Colorado Sun.