Governor Polis creates office to reduce health care costs

DENVER -- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has signed an executive order creating an office to coordinate his administration's efforts to reduce health care costs.

Polis signed the order Wednesday.

Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera heads the new Office of Saving People Money on Health Care.

Its priorities include pursuing a state reinsurance program designed to help private insurers keep individual premiums down.

"One of the main reasons to create the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care is to coordinate the efforts between the agencies," Polis said. "I hope it's a bipartisan, nonpartisan issue. You know, I think whether people are Independent, Republican or Democrat, they are all being ripped off on health care costs."

Polis wants to give consumers increased up-front hospital price transparency and reduce prescription costs, possibly by importing cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

He also hopes to pursue a state-sponsored insurance option as an alternative to private insurance.

Polis has vowed to eliminate cost disparities faced by thousands of rural and mountain residents who pay some of the nation's highest premiums because they have just one insurer under Colorado's state-run marketplace.

The Colorado General Assembly is expected to pass a bill to fund the office in the coming weeks.

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