Health Care Financing

Colorado Study Finds Single Payer Health Care System Most Cost-Effective

By Patricia Rice

A new study by the Colorado School of Public Health is out… the result of the bipartisan Health Care Cost Savings Act of 2019. The report compares three types of health care systems for Colorado and shows that a single payer universal health care system wins hands down in terms of cost and collateral effects on society.

Read the summary of the report.

Read the entire report.

The report by the Colorado School of Public Health states that compared to our current insurance-based system and a multi-payer universal health care system, a single-payer health care system would cost billions of dollars less overall. In addition, a single-payer Colorado nonprofit universal health care system would result in fewer emergency room visits, less lost time from work and increased productivity, fewer medical bankruptcies, and less financial hardship caused by medical bills.

“This Colorado data confirms the 20 or more studies in the U.S that a single-payer health care system is the most cost effective,” said Bill Semple, Board Chair of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care (CO4UHC). “It’s time for people to rise up and demand an improved Medicare-for-all health care system.”

The State Legislature commissioned the study in 2019 with passage of the Health Care Cost Savings Act, H.B. 19-1176, introduced by Reps. Emily Sirota and Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Sen. Mike Foote. It passed with bipartisan support. The report was released to the Colorado legislature this Wednesday, September 1.

“This new report says Colorado can solve a major state problem — more than 350,000 people with no health insurance — and save money in the process,” said T.R. Reid, who was a member of the 1176 Task Force authorized by the legislation. “We can provide insurance for everybody, which will save lives and improve our overall population health, with a system that actually costs less than we’re spending now.”

The bill’s aim was to analyze health care financing systems across three health care systems — our current insurance-based health care system; a publicly and privately funded multi-payer health care system; and a publicly financed, privately delivered universal health care system that would pay providers directly. The study’s objective was to give lawmakers and the public key data on which system could provide good health care to Coloradans at the lowest cost.

In addition to saving money, a single-payer health care system would prevent financial hardship for millions across the U.S., where an estimated 7 to 9 million people are driven into poverty by health care costs.

Bill supporters included the Foundation, Colorado Social Legislation Committee, County Commissioners Acting Together, Health Care for All Colorado, Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Our Revolution Metro Denver, Our Revolution Boulder, Democratic Socialists of America Denver Chapter, Arvadans for Progressive Action, Colorado Working Families, and Indivisible Colorado Legislative Table.

Patricia Rice is Social Media Director, Media Outreach Coordinator, with Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care.

Post Contributor

The Pagosa Daily Post welcomes submissions, photos, letters and videos from people who love Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Call 970-903-2673 or email