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Gubernatorial candidates show support for public options

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J. BICKING/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • J. Bicking/Shutterstock.com

Cary Kennedy, a Democratic candidate for governor, has proposed a state-level public option to address soaring health care premiums and promote universal coverage. Coloradans, regardless of income, would be able to buy into the state Medicaid plan, which now covers low-income, young and disabled residents, or the plans currently offered to state employees. Absent specific cost projections, Kennedy claims that with lower administrative costs, a larger insurance pool and no profit margin, either of these public options would be more affordable than private insurance for health care consumers — especially those who live in rural areas where there's just one insurer.

Her opponent, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder, is a co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All bill in the House. That's a single-payer plan that would give all U.S. residents access to more care than is currently available under Medicare with no out-of-pocket expenses. Sanders' proposal isn't likely to pass and Kennedy's isn't in legislative form yet.

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