New Report on Public Option Opens the Door for More Healthcare Choices for Colorado Small Businesses
Statement by Hunter Railey, Colorado Director for Small Business Majority, on the Division of Insurance’s new report outlining recommendations for a public option for healthcare in Colorado and its implications for small business
We’re thrilled to see the Colorado Division of Insurance released its report today outlining recommendations for a public option health plan here in Colorado and that the Division incorporated many of our recommendations in their final report. Establishing a public option will ensure our state’s entrepreneurs and small business employees have access to more affordable health coverage choices—which they desperately need—while also helping to control costs throughout our healthcare system. Indeed, the report reveals that implementing a public option would reduce healthcare costs by more than 10% throughout the state, and could reduce costs even further in rural areas.
We know from our research that access to affordable, quality health benefits is one of the biggest issues small businesses face today. Recent opinion polling revealed that nearly half of small business owners view the rising cost of healthcare as a threat to their business, and a majority strongly support cost containment measures such as reinsurance and the ability to buy into a state or public option plan.
We appreciate that the Division of Insurance sought stakeholder feedback from organizations like ours as they developed a roadmap for a public option health plan. In particular, we feel that standardized plans with broad eligibility will make it easier for business owners and their employees to compare rates and shop for the best value plans that fit their needs. Additionally, offering small group plans through the public option in the future will provide employers with an affordable health benefit option that will help them recruit and retain their employees. The recommendations also include a measure that would ensure prescription drug rebates would directly help consumers.
Colorado has taken significant steps this year toward containing costs by implementing a reinsurance program and passing legislation to address surprise billing, among other measures, and we hope state policymakers continue this progress by establishing a public option. This will greatly help our state’s job creators and small business employees access the affordable health coverage they need for their growth and success.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 58,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.