Polis wants to import prescriptions from Canada

By Nic Garcia
The Denver Post

FRISCO» Democrat Jared Polis pledged Monday to strengthen health care consumer protections, create a system to import prescription drugs from Canada and reform the state’s health insurance zones as part of his first 100 days if elected governor.

Those new campaign promises are among more than a dozen policy proposals the Boulder congressman outlined in front of a doctor’s office in this mountain town and said they would immediately drive down the cost for health care.

“I’m tired of Americans being ripped off,” Polis said regarding the price of prescription drugs.

Health care affordability — especially in rural Colorado — has emerged as one of the most salient issues in the race for the governor’s mansion. Mountain residents have been paying some of the highest insurance premiums in the country, and there’s been little cost relief for urban dwellers.

Polis is one of several Democrats across the country running this year on a promise to create a single-payer health care system. It’s an idea that appears to be rising in popularity, but one Republicans have rallied against, citing the exorbitant amount it could cost taxpayers.

Polis’ announcement didn’t specifically address moving the state toward such a system — or how he would pay for it. Instead, the campaign framed Monday’s announcement as steps the state should take in the short-term while working toward the “ultimate goal” of a single-payer system.

The campaign for Polis’ opponent, Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, pounced on the lack of new details on the single-payer system.

“While Congressman Polis touts his radical, government-run health care ‘plan’ on the campaign trail, Coloradans should know he has no idea how to pay for or implement it,” spokesperson Jerrod Dobkin said in a statement. “King Jared may think he can pull a fast one on voters, but it’s time Coloradans are introduced to the real Jared Polis: an above average salesman with no ability to deliver on the empty promises he sells.”

Stapleton plans to release his health care plan Tuesday.