Statement of CMS President Mike Volz, MD, on the certification of the ColoradoCare ballot measure

Thursday, November 19, 2015 08:03 AM
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How to expand health care coverage has been a subject of internal analytics for as long as I can remember, and I have been active in CMS for over 25 years. Over that span CMS has persistently made the case for getting as many of our fellow citizens coverage for health care as can be afforded. Affordability, as always, is the operable term. The ColoradoCare proposal makes health care coverage options personal to every Coloradan because for those who choose to vote, they get to decide how they want their care paid for and delivered. This debate will be a very healthy thing.

This is intimately familiar territory for physicians. We helped to incubate and create the state’s Blue Ribbon 208 Commission on Health Care Reform. For several years prior to the creation of this commission we had our own Physicians’ Congress on Health Care Reform thinking through all coverage options. We backed the Medicaid expansion, the state-run exchange and a dozen other innovations intended to assure the provision of appropriate care at the right time, place and value.

What the Colorado Care ballot proposal does is ups the game in this ongoing debate, which is already playing very well in our state.

The question on health care coverage always turns on three major points:

  1. How to pay for it;
  2. How to assure that it is affordable;
  3. And equally important, how to assure that care is accessible and delivered at the right time, place and value.

Whether the ColoradoCare ballot measure can pass or not, this will be a very healthy debate because it will raise the threshold awareness of Colorado leaders and voters on health care choices we must collectively make. As a consequence, we will have a larger pool of informed and engaged patients who are willing to make those choices.

As for support or opposition for ColoradoCare by CMS, I think you will see a range of passionate views, not on coverage where we are all in general agreement, but rather on the ColoradoCare approach as opposed to our current private-public systems of coverage. We will be polling all of our members at some point on this subject. We also are preparing for our members and for public release a thorough analysis of ColoradoCare, including a comparison to the current multi-payer system.


Posted in: Press Releases | Practice Evolution | Payment Reform | Health System Reform
 

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