Thursday, January 31, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter today congratulated the 27-member Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform for completing an historic and important review of Colorado's health-care system. He also reiterated his commitment to building on the work of the "208 Commission" and making steady and significant progress on health-care cost, quality and access issues in 2008.
"The commission embarked on an extremely challenging task," Gov. Ritter said. "The process brought together a wide spectrum of health-care policy experts, interested stakeholders and the general public. The final product is a thoughtful package of recommendations that will inform this discussion for years to come. The commission and the thousands of people involved in this process are to be commended for their public service.
"Our challenge now is to build on this work. Health-care costs are spiraling out of control for businesses, families and individuals – not to mention the state. Nearly 800,000 Coloradans, including 180,000 children, lack insurance. Many more fear they are one paycheck away from being uninsured. And those who do have insurance can't always access care.
"My vision and goals remain the same – that all Coloradans have access to some basic level of health care. I know this is bold and ambitious. I also know we made good progress in 2007, and that we must be realistic about how we continue to address these goals in 2008 and beyond.
"We must have a shared sense of responsibility from individuals, employers, insurers, providers and government. We must take a building-block, steady approach to progress, and cost control must continue to be at the heart of this.
"Many of the 208 Commission recommendations address these goals and will provide an important roadmap to reform. Changing this system will not be easy – and it will not happen with one bill or in one legislative session. But I am committed to working with the legislature, the health-care community and the public as we move forward."