By George Bohmfalk, M.D.
The Aspen Times, Letters, June 19, 2021
Gov. Jared Polis may have signed the so-called “Colorado Option” bill, but no one should be under the illusion that it is actually a public option.
It’s highly unlikely that anyone will notice more than a trivial effect on insurance premiums, despite the best efforts of its sponsors. The bill leaves all health insurance in the hands of private companies, which are the source of the system-wide administrative bureaucracy that devours 34% of every health care dollar. The myriad accounting and regulating requirements in this new law guarantee that billions more will be spent on paper shuffling rather than on health care.
It needn’t be this complicated or costly. An efficient single-payer Medicare for All program can reduce administrative overhead to less than 5%, as Taiwan proved with their plan, designed by Harvard health policy experts. Medicare for All can save enough in administrative overhead to provide comprehensive tax-funded first-dollar coverage (zero deductibles, co-pays, or Medigap policies) to every American and lower health care costs around 10% for both households and businesses. We most certainly can afford Medicare for All; we’re presently spending much more than it would cost. We can’t afford, and should stop trying, to solve our health care crisis by tinkering with a structurally failed system. Rather than struggling to lower premiums, we should simply get rid of them. Demand the Medicare for All Act.