Club 20 passes health care resolution

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Club 20's board of directors tackled health care in Western Colorado at a meeting Friday.

The nonprofit organization, which represents counties in western Colorado, passed eight policy statements, which include measures such as reducing cost-shifting and increasing health care efficiency.

The organization recently formed a task force to explore the issue. At the committee's recommendation, a standing subcommittee was created to explore the challenges to providing affordable, effective care, said Club 20 President Reeves Brown.

"Club 20 needs to stake a claim in this game," Brown said. "We need to be a player in this on an ongoing basis."

The resolutions were supported by most of the 22 members of the board, and each was adopted with only minor changes.

"The board was very enthusiastic about it," Brown said.

"It's a nerve that has hit from Steamboat to Craig to Junction to Durango. It's a Western Colorado issue."

In addition to the cost-shifting resolution, which refers to increases in medical prices due to the individuals who cannot afford to pay, and the efficiency issue, the group adopted resolutions encouraging individuals to be responsible with health care; supporting noneconomic loss caps on the damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits; supporting measures to reduce overall costs of health care through more effective managed care; monitoring the effect of the repeal of no-fault motor vehicle insurance; supporting policies that allow small businesses to pool health care costs; and decreasing the number of uninsured and underinsured people.

Brown said the organization hopes to reach out to other groups and create a statewide consensus document on health care.

"We have helped in sifting through the noise surrounding health care challenges and identifying the key issues," Brown said.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger attended the meeting and said all the resolutions that were passed were important.

"They need to work together," Monger said, "because the health care (crisis) is such a complex issue."

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