• Common Sense Policy Roundtable

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    January 30, 2020

    As lawmakers grapple with the potential impact of a state public option, this week, the REMI Partnership released a white paper that poses the outstanding questions and unintended consequences related to the public option.
     
    The study asks a series of questions about the possible impacts of a public option across each health care stakeholder group including patients, hospitals, insurance carriers, employers and state government.
     
    “Focusing exclusively on reducing insurance premiums for some in the individual insurance market via direct government actions, could come at the expense of all other health care stakeholders, including patients, employers, insurance carriers, hospitals and others,” said Chris Brown, Director of Policy and Research for the Common Sense Policy Roundtable.
     
    According to the study, establishing price caps does not addresses underlying causes of high prices and only treats the symptoms.
     
    “Savings resulting from government set rates passed to consumers have to come from somewhere, and by just lowering negotiated rates, without truly addressing underlying costs, a public option stands to benefit a few Colorado consumers, at the expense of every other stakeholder,” said Richard Rush, Managing Partner at GERICK and one of the authors of the study.
     
    The study recommends policymakers consider the following before proceeding with the public option:

    • Does the public option solve the originally defined problem?
    • The precedent of intervening in private markets through rate caps and requirements of private companies to sell a specific product.
    • The pace of regulatory change and incorporation of multiple other state and federal policy actions with still unknown results.
    • What trade-offs are necessary and acceptable: how many additional insureds and lower cost for a segment of the population are acceptable for this level of disruption?
    • What data needs to be incorporated and constituents to be heard? 
    Read the full study and key findings here