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Group presents long-awaited health-care plan
Legislative leaders say action on recommendations won't be quick

February 1, 2008
| Herald Denver Bureau

DENVER - More than 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps Thursday to demand single-payer health care, a system that would sweep away insurance companies and put the government in charge of paying for health care.

"We are offering the only proposal that would cover everyone and still reduce the overall cost of medical care," said Richard Gingery, a Montrose doctor who leads Health Care for All Colorado.

Four House Democrats attended the rally. Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, wants to introduce a bill to create a single-payer system in Colorado. But, she needs permission from Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff because the deadline to introduce bills has passed.

Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, also supports the plan but doesn't know if he will be the sponsor.

The sponsors are courageous, said Barry Keene, vice president of Health Care for All Colorado.

"Make no bones about it. There will be bloodshed - political bloodshed - over this," Keene said.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform studied five plans to remake health care in Colorado. Only the single-payer plan covered all the uninsured.

Also, the single-payer plan would save $1.4 billion, while the other four plans would cost an extra $389 million to $2 billion, according to The Lewin Group, which did economic studies for the Blue Ribbon commission.

Colorado businesses, citizens and government spend a combined $30.1 billion on health care each year.

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