News outlets across Colorado Monday published a four-sentence AP story reporting that “Colorado lawmakers” rejected a resolution urging Congress to pass a single-payer health reform plan. The tantalizing mini-story, designed uniquely perhaps for the Twitter-obsessed, raised more questions than it answered.
The state lawmakers voting yesterday were the ten members appointed to an interim legislative Health Care Task Force. The committee is made up of six Democrats and four Republicans. The vote broke party lines.
Yea voters included Senator Joyce Foster, D-Denver, and Representatives Jerry Frangas, D-Denver, Beth McCann, D- Denver, and Dennis Apuan, D- Colorado Springs.
Nay voters included Senators Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood; and Representatives Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, and Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs.
The resolution (pdf) enumerates ills of the present health care system. The sytem fails to cover people conception to death; it is costly and bureaucratic and wasteful; there is care rationing; it is tied to employment and not competitive.
Then the resolution lists reasons why a single-payer system is worthy of support. Single-payer has been analyzed as the most comprehensive solution; it would cover all areas of services; it would focus on preventative care; it might in fact streamline bureaucracy.
The resolution signatories would consent to all of the above and so on and then send the resolution to members of the Colorado Delegation in D.C. and to President Obama, urging them to pass single-payer health reform.
The resolution was voted down. But as was made clear at Saturday’s major health care town hall in Aurora– where six members of the delegation appeared– fact is, even if the delegation doesn’t support a full-on single-payer system, it supports a public insurance option as part of any reform bill. Indeed, Rep Jared Polis called single-payer care a “false stalking horse” used to scare off reform. The important thing, he said, was to provide real competition to the private insurers through a public not for profit system where prices are held down.