To combat rising health care costs, should Colorado let people buy into Medicaid?
Bill to study a Medicaid buy-in introduced in state legislature
The Denver Post
Medicaid, the nation’s joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor, is often described as providing a safety net — something to save the neediest people from disaster.
But, as health insurance costs spiral rapidly upward, Colorado lawmakers and health care advocates increasingly say that it is the entire state that is facing a crisis. So, some of them are now proposing a radical, potentially first-in-the-nation idea: Why not let anyone buy their way into Medicaid, regardless of income?
A bill introduced Friday at the state Capitol would instruct several Colorado departments to study the feasibility of that idea, as well as the possibility of creating new public-private partnerships or co-operative health insurance programs. The bill’s sponsors say these would be pro-active measures, as opposed to previous reactive solutions that have tried to smooth the zigs and zags of federal health care policy.
“This is saying, ‘How do we lead on this? How do we find a Colorado solution for our own folks?’ ” said state Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Democrat from Vail and one of the bill’s sponsors.