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Public option bill to move forward with new version and beginnings of deal

The new version of the Colorado Health Benefit Option Plan was being rolled out Monday in the state legislature.

DENVER — After more than two weeks of delays and hundreds of hours of negotiations, sponsors of House Bill 1232, the Colorado Health Benefit Option Plan, are moving ahead with another new version of the bill.

Sources have said that the bill in the Colorado General Assembly was being grudgingly accepted by some, but not all, of the opponents. The new version was to be rolled out at a 3 p.m. press conference with the bill sponsors: Reps. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle; Imah Jodeh, D-Aurora, and Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail. Speaker of the House Alec Garnett, D-Denver, who has been involved in the negotiations, also will join the press conference.

As introduced, House Bill 1232 gives the health-care industry — doctors, hospitals and health insurers — two years to reduce health insurance premiums by 20% (10% per year) in the individual and small group market. The individual market is about 8% of insured Coloradans; the small group market, which is small businesses with 1 to 100 employees, is about 15% of insured Coloradans.

> Read the full story at Colorado Politics.

> Video above: Draft of public option bill shows health-care industry has two years to reduce premiums by 20%, published March 2.

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