Dueling health care plans in governor’s race

DENVER — Republican nominee for governor Walker Stapleton and Democratic nominee for governor Jared Polis are hitting the final stretch of the campaign.

Both candidates are outlining their health care proposals in the hopes of rallying supporters for their cause.

Stapleton plan

Stapleton’s plan includes the use of what’s known as 1332 waivers, which allow for some exemptions from the Affordable Care Act.

These waivers do not repeal the ACA. In fact, they are mandated to retain the basic protections of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

However, they do allow for states to have flexibility in how the goals of the ACA are achieved.

According to Stapleton’s plan, he would seek waivers to allow for “more diverse types of coverage to include association health plans, multiple employer welfare agreements, catastrophic plans, and shorter-term plans. New plans must cover preexisting conditions, young adults still on their parent’s coverage, and include options to cover maternity care.”

Stapleton’s plan also seeks to better integrate mental health care with primary care, create a task force to examine medicaid spending abuse, and craft options to reduce reliance on emergency rooms.

Polis plan

The centerpiece of Polis’ health care plan is his commitment to “Medicare for all.”

Essentially, this plan works the same way as medicare for seniors presently.

According to Polis’ website, it takes “the burden of administering employee health care off the shoulders of employers, businesses can focus more on their core products and services. Providers benefit due to the favorable reimbursement rates, and because there is no profit motive for this plan, administrative costs go down and efficiencies in care are increased.”

Medicare is typically paid for with taxes as opposed to premiums, which millions of Americans currently pay out of the paychecks.

Earlier this week, Polis also outlined his plan to allow Coloradans to import drugs from Canada in an effort to improve the cost of drugs.

Vermont recently passed a similar measure. But because the federal government has jurisdiction over such practices the state is still waiting for a sign off by government organizations.

Both sides are critical of the opponent’s plan.

“Walker Stapleton has stood with Donald Trump repeatedly in his crusade to take health care away from hundreds of thousands of Coloradans while driving up the cost for the rest of us,” Polis spokeswoman Mara Sheldon said.

“Walker Stapleton has campaigned on rolling back Medicaid expansion — which would threaten coverage for 1.4 million Coloradans on Medicaid — and eliminating our insurance exchange, which would throw our health care system into chaos and raise health costs.

“Now he is offering up vague platitudes that say virtually nothing. Colorado families can’t afford Trump’s yes-man Walker Stapleton.”

Countered Kyle Kohli, Colorado communications director  for the Republican National Committee: “Congressman Polis’ pie-in-the-sky scheme to institute socialized medicine has been panned by Democrats across the country, including Hillary Clinton. Now, we learn Polis intends to force Colorado into a multi-state consortium with New Mexico. If the very Democrats like Lujan Grisham he intends to partner with are against government run healthcare, how can Polis continue to push for multi-state socialized medicine with any credibility?”

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