Kate Alfano, CMS Communications Coordinator
Physicians welcome lieutenant governor candidates for health care forum during 2018 CMS Annual Meeting
COMPAC, the bipartisan political action committee of the Colorado Medical Society, held its annual luncheon during the 2018 CMS Annual Meeting. Christopher Unrein, DO, COMPAC chair, introduced the event. The lunch began with a special video presentation of some of the challenges medicine will face in the upcoming 2019 legislative session and a call to contribute to COMPAC and the Small Donor Committee. Members then approved nominees to the COMPAC board of directors, ensuring diverse geographic representation.
The highlight of the event was a health care forum with the 2018 candidates for Colorado lieutenant governor, the honorable Lang Sias (R) and the honorable Dianne Primavera (D), moderated by Floyd Ciruli. Sias, the Republican nominee, currently represents House District 27 in the Colorado House of Representatives. Primavera, the Democratic nominee, who was elected Nov. 6, served four terms as a state representative before becoming CEO of Susan G. Komen Colorado. Ciruli is the founder of consulting firm Ciruli Associates and director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
“Health care is the number one issue in the country right now,” Ciruli said. “It has just taken over the economy partially because we feel the economy is doing pretty well right now. We’re now able to look at other issues and one of those issues is health care: quality cost, access, insurance, everything you [physicians in the audience] deal with on a daily basis.”
The candidates were asked about the most critical elements of their health care platforms, how they view the balance between regulation and market forces, whether they support confidentiality provisions in the Professional Review Act, if they would expand the monetary value of malpractice suits, and how they would build on the previous administration’s work to address the opioid crisis.
“We recognize that this system is not working for everybody and there is a need for reform, particularly in the area of cost,” Sias said. “What we want to do is focus on specific areas where we can bring about reform and not break things that are working in order to fix things that are in fact broken.”
“Jared [Polis] and I both believe that every Coloradoan has a right to health care,” Primavera said. “Whether a person lives in a certain zip code, whether they have certain income, whatever their race or sexual orientation, gender identity or current state of health, should never preclude someone from being able to afford high-quality health care. We both believe passionately in universal health care and we will never give up on that idea until we reach that goal. As we work toward it we need immediate action to lower the cost of care for consumers and small businesses to expand access and improve quality. Any ideas that meet the goals of that, Jared and I will embrace.”
The candidates then took questions from the audience.
COMPAC will need your support going into 2019 to continue effecting positive change for physicians and their patients. To join COMPAC, go to www.cms.org/contribute.