PERRY: Stapleton, Coffman, heal thyself, because your health-care policies are killing us

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If state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Congressman Mike Coffman were your doctors, you’d be in a world of hurt. If they get their way with changing health care on the state and federal levels, you’re in just as bad a fix.

These local political candidates aren’t the only ones seriously misled about the reality of health care in Colorado and the nation. They’re in the dubious company of just about every other Republican in Congress and the Colorado General Assembly — and a good number of Democrats, too.

Stapleton, the GOP brand for governor this time, is running against Democratic Congressman Jared Polis. Coffman is trying to keep Democrat Jason Crow from claiming his 6th Congressional District seat.

Both Republicans continue to rail for a health-care system that’s killing us.

Americans are being abused by our health-care system. We see the bruises in the finances of our businesses, governments and especially our own paychecks and bank accounts.

We’ve all been pushed around by our insurance companies. Until Democrats finally imposed a restraining order against them in 2010, by creating ObamaCare, insurers were free to push us right out into the street if we got sick and really needed coverage.

Despite ObamaCare, insurance companies have fought back with policies that now cost as much to use them as consumers pay in premiums to buy them.

Essentially, Stapleton and Coffman would be more than happy to repeal the Affordable Care Act and return to what drove us there in the first place over the last 30 years. Despite what the health-care industry has done to us, Republicans still believe that a return to completely free-market medicine would somehow end differently than it did in 2010. Meanwhile, Polis and Crow want to move the state toward some kind of public option, aka Medicare for everyone, or universal health care, with details yet to come.

They believe what every other modern nation believes: Health care is a right, not a privilege. The only people who don’t believe that are those who don’t worry about losing access to medical care.

Even Stapleton and Coffman agree that the government can’t squelch the liberation Americans enjoyed when ObamaCare staunched the brutal abuse inflicted by insurance companies. It’s too late to let insurance companies once again start tossing lifelong customers for being diagnosed with the financially fatal “pre-existing conditions.”

But neither of them is willing to accept the only thing that makes it work: universal care. By requiring insurance companies to take everyone without regulation, and at least a public option, you get what we’ve got right now.

How’s that working for you? For everyone?

The Denver Post revealed last week a new state report showing that Colorado hospital costs have exploded along with profits and seemingly unstoppable building and expansion.

You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand what the Democratic Congress did to us when it created ObamaCare. They forced the country to buy insurance, and they tossed an ocean of tax-paid subsidies at insurance companies and providers. But Congress has since refused to regulate them. Instead, they trusted them to do the right thing.

Who in their right mind trusts insurance companies to do the right thing — without regulation? Congress.

So we suffer. The numbers don’t lie. Health care industries and delusional politicians do.

• In Colorado, 25 percent of the population now gets Medicaid. Another 14 percent gets Medicare, and about 7 percent is uninsured. That means about half of the state doesn’t pay real insurance premiums. And it means that about half of the state pays their doctor and hospital much less than everyone else, because that’s how government insurance works.

• Of those 350,000 Colorado residents who don’t have health insurance, 75 percent of them have a full-time job. The reason people give for having jobs and no insurance? It’s too expensive to buy and too expensive to use.

• Since the advent of ObamaCare, the health industry has exploded, now consuming almost 20 percent of the U.S. GDP, staggering above any other modern nation.

• For every licensed medical doctor in the system, there are 16 non-doctor employees, and half of them don’t provide any medical care at all, just administration, according to a report by Kaiser Health News. More than a third of all U.S. job growth since the recession has been in the health-care industry.

• We now spend a stunning $3.4 trillion a year on health care, all of which comes from your employer, your taxes, your deductions, your premiums, and right out of your bank account. We spend 30 percent more than the next highest nation, Switzerland.

• Despite all the money, all the power of U.S. and state governments, all the brainpower and resources available to us, tens of millions of people still have no health insurance and access to care. Meanwhile, you’re paying a virtual second mortgage in insurance premiums for a policy that makes you shell out anywhere from several hundred to several thousands of dollars in additional health-care costs — before your insurance starts paying.

• The average wait time for health-care is growing fast, by 30 percent across the country, according to a 2017 study by MerrittHawkins. In Boston, patients regularly wait 45 days to see a doctor.

We are the only modern nation on the planet that does not offer some kind of universal health-care. The countries that do spend far less, and are generally healthier and live longer than we do.

If you don’t believe the experts — those not paid with your dollars to work for the health-care system — believe your own eyes when you look at what you’re paying for crappy health insurance.

Believe what that policy makes you pay for beyond what they’re already charging you for premiums.

Believe the road blocks insurance companies put up for you and your providers in an effort to prevent you from receiving care or to find a way to make you pay for it.

Believe reports that health-care jobs are exploding in Colorado, and so are the wages paid to them.

But don’t believe for a second that Stapleton or Coffman are going to support anything other than the same system and players that America is dying to trade in for something better.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]