A Public Option for All Coloradans
As Governor, I will lead Colorado to universal health care coverage. The Affordable Care Act gets close – 97.5% of children in Colorado are covered and over 94% of Coloradans have health insurance today. We can be proud of this accomplishment, and I will not let Washington take us backwards. But there is more work to do. Every single one of us needs to be able to get high-quality, affordable health care when we need it and where we need it. Right now we face two significant challenges: health insurance is too expensive and too many people don’t have access to the care they need. I have a bold vision to give all Coloradans affordable, high quality health care. Under my plan, all Coloradans will be able to purchase coverage through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), or one of the private plans offered to state employees. These public options will lower premiums, stabilize markets, and increase affordable health insurance options for all Coloradans, and especially those in rural communities.
Early in my career I helped start the Child Health Plan in Colorado, which helped tens of thousands of low income children across our state get health insurance. As Governor, I will always work to ensure everyone in Colorado has access to affordable, accessible, high quality health care, because health care is a right for everyone.
Reproductive Health Care
Women in Colorado — and everywhere — need access to safe and effective sexual and reproductive healthcare, including access to the contraceptive method of their choice and abortion services.
I support a woman’s right to choose when and if she will continue her pregnancy. Reproductive rights are human rights and women must have autonomy over their bodies. Over 40 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court granted women this constitutional right in the historic Roe v. Wade case. This decision established that a woman’s Constitutional right to privacy covers her right to make personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion. Because of this landmark decision, women have had access to safe and legal abortion for most of my lifetime. Also for most of my lifetime, some have worked to limit women’s ability to make personal medical decisions. This has resulted in some women, mostly those with less means, having to deal with barriers to accessing the care they need.
Colorado has been a national leader in increasing the ability of women to plan for and decide when to become parents. Our state implemented a program that has made all contraceptive methods more widely available to women of all income levels, including long acting methods like IUDs and implants. Colorado’s investment in improving access to more types of birth control has reduced the the teen abortion rate by 64%, reduced unplanned pregnancies among teens by more than 50% and among those in their early 20s by a third.
Protecting and Expanding Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
As governor, I will protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care. We cannot allow ideological extremists in DC to deny evidence and undermine public health successes by infringing upon a women’s right to choose in Colorado. If the federal constitutional guarantee that has been settled law for decades is overturned, it will be up to the states to protect that right. As governor, I will protect the right of all Coloradans to access the medical care they need — regardless of income — to make their own decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. I will oppose any legislation that attempts to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care or abortion services. I will also fight to protect and improve Coloradans’ access to contraception.
Protecting and Expanding Coloradans’ Access to Contraception
Having the ability to choose to start a family when one is ready has social, economic, educational and health benefits for women and their families. Having access to contraception increases access to financial stability, higher education and career opportunities.
The Affordable Care Act included access to all forms of birth control as part of basic preventative health care, and without a copay. This allowed more women to choose what type of birth control works best for them. If Donald Trump succeeds in rolling the Affordable Care Act and its protections for women back, I will support legislation that protects this access in Colorado.
Even before the Affordable Care Act, Colorado passed legislation that prevents insurers from charging women more for the health coverage, and required insurers to cover contraception and maternity care. Women with private insurance are also now able to pick up a year of birth control at once. We can increase access by ensuring that all women have this opportunity, regardless of what type of insurance they have.
We must fight back. That is why I support policies that make sense, will help more people, and support access to sexual and reproductive health care for everyone.