Dr. Irene Aguilar, a Colorado state senator and a practicing internist, announced that she will introduce legislation to establish a statewide cooperative that will provide universal health insurance coverage in the state.
Aguilar, a Democrat representing a portion of Denver, introduced a related bill last year
, though now she has added clout having recently been named chairwoman of the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
The draft bill
calls for ballot referendum on the question of approving a state constitutional amendment to establish the Colorado Health Care Cooperative. The cooperative would be governed by an elected board, and insurance coverage would include "essential health benefits," plus dental, vision and hearing services as well as mental health services and substance abuse treatment.
"Nothing in this article prohibits private health insurers from doing business in Colorado," the document states.
Aguilar practices at Denver Health's Westside Family Health Center.