Republican Sen. Jim Smallwood, an insurance broker, questioned the wisdom of having government step in as a competitor. He noted that high rural premiums persist and are rising under a state health insurance exchange adopted under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
The 2019 Colorado General Assembly is vastly different from the past two years. The Democratic Party has a majority in both the House and the Senate, which means that the Republicans do not have enough votes to block any of the partisan legislation that is proposed. We are already witnessing a number of extremely controversial bills being introduced, such as restructuring of Colorado’s comprehensive sex education curriculum, firearm seizures, and several healthcare bills.
"Reinsurance program for me is one step towards single payer," said Sen. Jim Smallwood, R-Parker.
Still, Smallwood says that the government should not be the solution to the rising costs, and says he worries about the state competing with private insurance companies. Insurance companies already have to get their rates approved every year by the state Division of Insurance after public comment periods that follow the initial proposals.
“Having sort of the referees be sort of one of the players would seem unfair in any sport,” he said.
“We’re coming dangerously close to government overreach,” Smallwood said. “The challenge is to strike the right balance. What is the right amount of government intervention to make sure taxpayer dollars are accounted for?”