Affordable Care Commission Starts Getting Serious

Monday was a long-awaited day for anyone tracking the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care. The legislature created the commission this spring to take on the important task of finding ways to reduce health care costs.

However, the panel’s time has been consumed by setting bylaws and dealing with logistics for the first four months of its existence. 

That started to change at the December 8 meeting, when commissioners talked about what should be the scope of their work. 

The discussion brought to light a divide on the commission that could color the group’s work for the next three years, with Commissioner Linda Gorman presenting dissenting views from many other commissions. For example, she questioned the extent of the harm caused by smoking and obesity. Several others commissioners pushed back, saying the panel needs to study both individual and population health and the factors that make health care expensive.

The Colorado Health Institute has attended every meeting and is writing reports. The latest report details the debate at the commission's fifth meeting, as well as logistical efforts by the commission as it ramps up for a busy 2015. Read reports from all five meetings on CHI’s Affordable Care Commission page.

The next meeting is January 12, so look for the Meeting 6 report the second week of January. And finally, we’re using the Twitter hashtag #COCostComm for all news related to the commission.

Joe is Manager of Public Policy Outreach at CHI.