Club 20 wants the state, not feds, in charge of health-care exchange

The state of Colorado, not the federal government, should be in charge of health-insurance exchanges, a Club 20 committee said Wednesday.

The health care committee, which led the Western Slope lobbying and promotional organization to support an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, said the federal government also should play a minimal role in the health care industry. The committee’s recommendations will be placed this spring before the full Club 20 board of directors.

Club 20 officials use the organization’s positions to lobby the federal and state governments. That will be a difficult job this year, committee member Dick Allison of Ridgway said.

“It’s all very fluid,” Allison said, referring to discussions in Congress and at the state Capitol in Denver.

It’s important, however, that the organization begin now to outline its position on health care, Allison said.

The state can, under the new federal health care law, establish a health insurance exchange, which the committee said it should do. The exchange, however, shouldn’t favor nonprofit providers over for-profit organizations, and the exchange should not duplicate the state insurance commission, the committee said.

Among other needs, Colorado should encourage health care plans to remain in or return to Colorado, the committee said. The state also should encourage a competitive marketplace with minimal government regulation to ensure a level playing field, the committee said.

Preferably, said Dr. David West, a Grand Junction physician who has been active in health care policy, the reach of government into health care decisions should be minimal.


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