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Denver7's 360 look at healthcare sparks debate, raises questions about individual health plans

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 00:36:38-04

DENVER — Denver7's 360 story last week which looked at whether healthcare is a right or commodity has sparked a lot of feedback from our viewers.

Since last Friday, hundreds have shared their take and filled our inboxes with dozens of lengthy and thoughtful responses.

William wrote, "national health = wait in line."

While Diane told us "the system is surely broken."

Viewer, Claude Rolo said: "The bottom line is I'm paying $2,400 a month for really bad HMO insurance 2 kids and my spouse."

That's a lot of money, so Denver7 reporter Jennifer Kovaleski paid Rolo a visit to find out more.  

"I wrote in because it really pisses me off," he explained from his front porch.

Rolo said he is getting fleeced for $2,400 every month for health insurance because he is self-employed.

In Colorado, he explained no employees, means he doesn't qualify for a group plan, and that often means no deals.

Additionally, both United Healthcare and Humana stopped offering individual plans last year.

"This is the worst insurance I've ever had in terms of difficulty of making sure you get a doctor that's in the plan," he said.

Rolo said the only coverage available for his family of four in Colorado are HMO plans, which means doctors must be in network for affordable care, even though he is willing to shell out even more cash.

"It makes no sense that I can't pay more money to get a better plan. That I'm locked into these HMO's," he said.

Rolo viewpoint is that our health care system in un-American and he supports universal and single payer healthcare like Canada has — as long as he and his family have more choices.

"Why do people that have money or have certain types of jobs have access to healthcare that quite frankly in Colorado I don't have access to?" he asked. 

But not so fast, explained another viewer. "C" from Aurora wrote Canadian-style healthcare sounds good, but it doesn't work. This viewer claimed their aunt and uncle had to get cancer treatment in Maine because Canada's system wouldn't pay for it.

"The system is completely broken, completely," said Rolo.

Rolo said he wants Coloradans to know health care is not the same for everyone.

"Whoever has the nerve to say we have the best healthcare in the world is out of their mind. They just haven't experienced what it's like not to be in a corporate health care plan," said Rolo.