Health care reform will strengthen state's economy, study says
A newly released study makes perhaps the strongest, most detailed case yet for health care reform.
Based on the study, we think it is safe to say that Colorado can hardly afford not to have health care reform.
Colorado has the seventh-highest health care costs in the nation, and those costs are expected to continue going up, placing an increasing burden on state residents, businesses and governments.
Health care reform can break that cycle. The study says that health care reform will lead to greater coverage for Coloradans and "will spur increased economic activity and create more jobs, even after accounting for the costs of financing reform."
The study, done by the New America Foundation of Washington, D.C., and the Center for Colorado's Economic Future at the University of Denver, uses Colorado-specific data to evaluate health care and the impact of increasing costs on the state's economy. The study builds on recommendations made by the 208 Commission and the Lewin Group's quantitative analysis of the commission's recommendations.
In 2008, health insurance premiums in Colorado accounted for 22 percent of a family's income, and premiums are expected to grow by 10 percent per year. Without health care reform, Coloradans will see higher health care costs, more uninsured residents and higher spending on health care, especially by businesses.
Reforms that add value and efficiency to the health care delivery system "will allow the state to deliver higher quality care at lower costs over time, while freeing up resources for other state priorities," the study says.
The study was commissioned by The Colorado Trust and The Colorado Health Foundation.