McCann health insurance reform bills gain steam heading to state Senate

State Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, is carrying two major health insurance reform bills this legislative session and has managed to move the bills through legislative committees and the House, so far, without any real opposition. It’s no small feat given the partisan fireworks that define all things health care this year

Rep. Beth McCann
Rep. Beth McCann

The so-called gender bias bill seeks to end steep price differences for men and women on the individual health care market. The other would require insurance companies to offer maternity care to individual health insurance policy customers. As it stands women who don’t get their insurance through a group plan, like the kind provided through employers, can not find maternity care in Colorado. Abortions are covered but maternity care, including prenatal care, is not covered.

McCann says she expects the senate to clash over the maternity bill.

“I think the gender bias bill will probably get through the Senate but I think that the maternity care bill will be harder to get through.”

The maternity bill passed the House 36 votes to 27 votes, with all Republicans and only a few Democrats voting against the legislation.

McCann told the Colorado Independent she was “delighted” the bill passed without any significant vocal opposition

“It was a great victory for us. I think it makes sense. Healthy pregnancies and healthy babies reduce healthcare costs in the long run and provide a better citizenry in the long run for Colorado because we have healthy children,” she said. “If couples can get maternity care when they get pregnant they are much more likely to get adequate prenatal care and have healthy babies.”

Some opponents of ending gender discrimination and mandating maternity coverage believe the reforms might drive insurers out of state or hike rates across the board.

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