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Public health insurance option gets early House approval

March 1, 2019

DENVER (AP) — Some warned about mission creep. But Colorado’s Democrat-controlled House has tentatively endorsed developing a proposal for a public health insurance option.

Gov. Jared Polis insists such an option will introduce competition and make insurance affordable for thousands of Colorado families.

The House voted Friday to require two state agencies to study and develop a proposal for the Legislature by Nov. 15.

The bill goes to the Senate after another House vote.

Fourteen rural counties have just one health insurer. Their residents face some of the nation’s highest premiums.

Republican Rep. Marc Catlin, a bill co-sponsor, says it’s smart to study what a public option might look like before introducing formal legislation in 2020.

Republican Rep. Mark Baisley warns it puts Colorado on a fast track to a public option.

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