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Gov. Polis vows to tackle runaway health care costs, climate change in first State of the State speech

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January 10, 2019, 3:16 pm
Gov. Jared Polis
Gov. Jared Polis

Gov. Jared Polis, in his first State of the State speech before the Colorado General Assembly in Denver Thursday, announced he’ll tackle two of the most critical issues facing residents of ski towns like Vail, where Polis’s family owns a home and he has been the congressional representative for a decade.

Polis announced he’s opening the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, which will be led by cancer-survivor and health-care policy advocate Lt Gov. Dianne Primavera and designed “to reduce patient costs for hospital stays and expenses, improve price transparency, lower the price of prescription drugs, and make health insurance more affordable.”

Polis, a Democrat, singled out the runaway costs of the health care in Colorado’s high country.

“We must tackle the outrageous health care costs facing Coloradans — particularly in rural and mountain counties,” Polis said. “There’s no reason for anybody to lose their savings or their home simply trying to keep up with rising health care costs. And there is no reason a family in Glenwood Springs or Gunnison should pay twice as much for health care as a family in Denver.”

And Polis, who was inaugurated as Colorado’s 43rd governor on Tuesday, vowed to directly take on climate change and its growing threat to mountain resort communities.

“Climate change is a scientific reality. It’s real,” Polis said. “There’s no pretending otherwise for farmers and ranchers who are facing historic water shortages. There’s no pretending otherwise for the 46,000 women and men who work in Colorado’s ski industry and see their jobs threatened by decreased snowpack.”

Polis promised aggressive energy, water and transportation policies to mitigate against the worst impacts of a rapidly warming climate.

For the entire text of Polis’s first State of the State speech, click here.

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