We love our rural hospitals and our medical providers. Let’s keep them open and solvent by paying for their service — and provide us with the insurance that we need to pay them and spare other rural communities the loss of hospital facilities that Leadville has suffered.

Coloradans are facing infections and deaths, job losses, business closures, reduced incomes and the loss of employer health insurance. The pandemic is not over, even as mass vaccinations are beginning.

Many of us cannot afford health insurance; even the insured cannot pay the deductibles and copays, causing them to avoid treatment until their health is in jeopardy. Even more fall between the cracks of our system altogether and put themselves and others at risk. As a result, rural hospitals and medical providers suffer along with their patients who can’t pay.

The Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act (HCEGA), H.R. 6906 and S. 3790, would cover all Americans for the duration of the pandemic with comprehensive health care insurance, including drug coverage, pay all deductibles and copays, whether people are insured or uninsured, stop surprise billing, cap private insurance company cost-sharing, stop unwarranted premium increases and limit drug prices. The HCEGA can be a standalone bill or merged into one of President Biden’s proposed recovery bills.

Please ask Senators Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper and Rep. Doug Lamborn to reintroduce, co-sponsor and support the HCEGA or include it in a recovery bill that will cover everyone retroactively from January 1, 2020 and until widespread herd immunity is achieved by mass vaccinations. The HCEGA will save our lives and our health.

Medicare would come to the rescue and run this program. It would ensure that our medical needs are met by paying for our care while keeping us, our rural hospitals and our providers afloat.

Jim Potter


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