Jared Polis on Health Care



Time to hold healthcare industry accountable for high costs

We have worked with the healthcare industry in good faith to lower costs, but not all of them have held up their end of the bargain. It's time that we hold them accountable. First and foremost, that means stop overcharging patients. It also means that nonprofit hospitals must work with their communities to live up to that promise, providing benefits like mental health, maternity care, healthcare workforce growth, and support for social determinants of health like housing and food.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Jan 17, 2023

Offer more integrated physical and mental health services

We want to partner with local governments and school districts to multiply the impact of historic funding to create a responsible, effective approach to addressing behavioral health needs from the mountains to the plains. Getting there means offering more integrated physical and mental health services, bolstering our often overworked behavioral health workforce, and most importantly, getting Colorado children the support they need to be happy--to just be kids.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Jan 13, 2022

Hope to add 1,300 healthcare practitioners in our state

My budget proposals include an initial $1 million to expand nursing programs up to 500 students annually over 5 years and funding for our Technical College System to grow their partnership with Allied Health to serve up to 700 additional students annually. My proposal will invest $2.5 million for 136 residency slots and allocate $1 million to Mercer University to address rural physician shortages. With these key investments, we hope to add 1,300 additional healthcare practitioners in our state!
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Georgia legislature , Jan 13, 2022

Don't force people to choose between jobs or a COVID vaccine

Georgia is on the move because we chose freedom over government shutdowns. We trusted our citizens to be a part of the solution - instead of part of the problem. We continue to fight unconstitutional federal mandates that force hardworking Georgians to choose between their livelihoods or a COVID vaccine. We stood up for our job creators--and their employees--and ignored the partisan attacks from the left, the national media, and those who seek to divide us for financial or political gain.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Georgia legislature , Jan 13, 2022

Telehealth is literally a lifesaver for many in rural areas

This pandemic has also forced us to be creative as we've reimagined our health care system. Think, for example, of telehealth--including behavioral telehealth--which isn't just a useful innovation in a time of social distancing. It's a convenient tool for folks who want to receive care from the comfort of their own homes, and it's literally a lifesaver for many Coloradans in rural areas who may live far away from doctors and clinics and hospitals.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Feb 17, 2021

Proposes drug price transparency & public option

At the end of the day there is one issue that continues to reign over all when it comes to affordability: the high cost of health care. We know that health care costs won't magically go down on their own. We need to keep working at it. Which is why this year I'm supporting legislation to require prescription drug price transparency, and a proposal to provide Coloradans a public option to increase freedom and choice in the health care marketplace.
Source: 2020 Colorado State of the State address , Jan 9, 2020

Improve ObamaCare; work toward universal single-payer system

Q: Support or Repeal ACA, aka ObamaCare? Accept ACA's Medicaid expansion to subsidize low-income participants?

Jared Polis (D): Keep ACA and improve it. Work toward universal single-payer system. Believes Medicaid expansion in Colorado has been an enormous success.

Walker Stapleton (R): Repeal ACA & end Colorado's ObamaCare exchange. Shrinking Medicaid expansion would be among main changes he'd champion.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Colorado Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

AdWatch: Supports Medicare for All

CLAIM: "And radical ideas like single-payer health care. That's why they call it RadiCalifornia. Jared Polis wants the same thing."

VERDICT: This is TRUE. Polis is supportive of single-payer health care. Calling it radical is opinion.

The ad refers to a bill introduced in January 2017, H.R. 676, "Medicare for All." It essentially creates a free health care system for all U.S. citizens. Polis signed on as a cosponsor of the bill in April 2017. No Republicans have put their name on this legislation.

Source: 9News.com KUSA AdWatch on 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race , Aug 13, 2018

Religious exemption from ObamaCare individual mandate.

Polis co-sponsored H.R.631 & S.352

Congressional Summary: To provide an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate. This Act may be cited as the `Equitable Access to Care and Health Act` or the `EACH Act`. The `Religious Conscience Exemption` exempts individuals who are members of a recognized religious sect which relies solely on a religious method of healing, and for whom the acceptance of medical health services would be inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (TheHill.com weblog, April 29, 2013): `We believe the EACH Act balances a respect for religious diversity against the need to prevent fraud and abuse,` wrote Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and William Keating (D-MA). `It is imperative we expand the religious conscience exemption now as the Administration is verifying the various exemptions to the individual mandate,` they wrote. Religious exemption from ObamaCare has come up before, including contraception. The EACH Act, however, deals only with exemptions from the insurance mandate.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (CHILD, Inc. `Children`s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty`, Dec. 2014): The Christian Science church is pushing hard to get another religious exemption through Congress. The EACH Act exempts everyone with `sincerely held religious beliefs` from the mandate to buy health insurance. We are particularly concerned about uninsured children: hundreds of American children have died because of their family`s religious objections to medical care. The EACH Act increases the risk to children in faith-healing sects and the cost to the state if the children do get medical care. Some complain that their church members should not have to pay for health care that they won`t use. But insurance works on the assumption that many in the pool of policyholders will not draw from it. Most people with fire insurance don`t have their homes burn, for example.

Source: EACH Act 15_H631 on Jan 30, 2015

GOP can't beat ObamaCare, so they pretend it's a "disaster".

Polis voted NAY Full Repeal of ObamaCare

Heritage Action Summary: This vote would fully repeal ObamaCare.

Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (2/3/2015): ObamaCare creates $1.8 trillion in new health care spending and uses cuts to Medicare spending to help pay for some of it. Millions of Americans already have lost, and more likely will lose, their coverage because of ObamaCare. Many Americans have not been able to keep their doctors as insurers try to offset the added costs of ObamaCare by limiting the number of providers in their networks. In spite of the promise, the law increases the cost of health coverage.

Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recommendation to vote NO: (robertreich.org 11/22/2013): Having failed to defeat the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are now hell-bent on destroying the ObamaCare in Americans` minds, using the word `disaster` whenever mentioning the Act, and demand its repeal. Democrats [should] meet the Republican barrage with three larger truths:

  1. The wreck of private insurance: Ours has been the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. For-profit insurers have spent billions finding and marketing their policies to healthy people--while rejecting people with preexisting conditions, or at high risk.
  2. We could not continue with this travesty of a healthcare system: ObamaCare is a modest solution. It still relies on private insurers--merely setting minimum standards and `exchanges` where customers can compare policies.
  3. The moral imperative: Even a clunky compromise like the ACA between a national system of health insurance and a for-profit insurance market depends, fundamentally, on a social compact in which those who are healthier and richer are willing to help those who are sicker and poorer. Such a social compact defines a society.

Legislative outcome: Passed House 239-186-8; never came to a vote in the Senate.

Source: Congressional vote 15-H0132 on Feb 3, 2015

Other governors on Health Care: Jared Polis on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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