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09-30-2007, 01:58 PM
Members of the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform (http://www.colorado.gov/208commission/) on Monday approved a draft of a fifth health care proposal that would require all documented state residents to obtain health insurance, the Denver Rocky Mountain News (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5706501,00.html) reports. The commission already has approved four other draft proposals aimed at expanding coverage to more than 780,000 of the state's uninsured residents (Montero, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 9/25).

Two of the proposals, created by the Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters (http://www.csahu.org/) and the Committee for Colorado Health Solutions, also would require all state residents to obtain health coverage. Under the plans, the state would provide subsidies to residents who cannot afford to obtain health insurance. A third plan proposed by the Health Care for All Colorado Coalition (http://healthcareforallcolorado.org/) would establish a single-payer health care system administered by the state, and a fourth plan proposed by the Service Employees International Union (http://www.seiu.org/) would expand state health insurance programs and establish a large health insurance purchasing pool (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report (http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?hint=3&DR_ID=47552), 9/17).

The fifth proposal would expand Medicaid eligibility to state residents with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level and would allow residents with disabilities who have incomes up to 250% of the poverty level to buy in to Medicaid. The proposal also would combine Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (http://www.cchp.org/). Other provisions of the proposal would create a standard identification card for all state residents; provide subsidies for low-income residents to purchase insurance; set up a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week nurse line for residents; and allow residents to enroll in health insurance plans throughout the year, regardless of changes to their employment or income status.

The proposal would assess fines on uninsured residents, but residents with incomes between 400% and 500% of the poverty level would be exempt if their insurance premiums are greater than 9% of their income. Commission members were unable to reach a consensus on insurance coverage for undocumented immigrant workers, the News reports. The commission's recommendations will be analyzed by the Lewin Group (http://www.lewin.com/), an accounting firm, and a final proposal is expected to be completed by the end of November (Denver Rocky Mountain News, 9/25).

Reprinted with kind permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org (http://www.kaisernetwork.org/). You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/healthpolicy (http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/healthpolicy). The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family FoundationŠ 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.