Club 20 backs state-sponsored health exchange

Colorado should forge its own health-insurance exchange, rather than allow the federal government to create it, Club 20 said Friday.

The Western Slope advocacy organization supported a home-grown approach during its policy meeting Friday in Grand Junction.

Today, Gov. John Hickenlooper, several members of his Cabinet and other officials are to address the organization. Hickenlooper will deliver the keynote address to the organization at its sold-out luncheon session in Two Rivers Convention Center. The meeting is open to the public, and people still can register to attend all sessions, aside from the luncheon, at Two Rivers Convention Center. The cost is $75.

Club 20’s endorsement of a Colorado health-insurance exchange comes as a legislative fight is brewing over a proposal by House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, R-Monument, that Colorado insist on a waiver from the federal law as part of establishing its own exchange.

The Senate passed the measure without Stephens’ provision, but Stephens is expected to have it put in when the measure reaches the House.

The Colorado exchange should be an “objective, neutral, consumer-friendly market” in which residents can obtain information and purchase coverage “with transparency of premiums and standardization of benefits,” Club 20 said in its resolution.

The exchange, however, should not set premium rates, and members of the board that runs it also should be subject to a written conflict-of-interest policy, Club 20 said.

The organization in a separate action urged having a premium subsidy for “high-need” consumers that require expensive care but are unable to afford it.

This morning, the organization will hear from MOVE Colorado, a group founded to help the state solve its transportation problems. It also will be briefed about federal plans for the recognition of wild lands on property administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

This afternoon, members of Hickenlooper’s Cabinet will discuss the plans for their departments.


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