Advocates for the public health option say industry is trying to kill it before a detailed legislative proposal has even been released. “There’s obviously a lot of national money being spent to protect the status quo,” says Dylan Roberts, one of the Colorado state lawmakers drafting the legislation. While the Democrats control the legislature, it’s not a given that Polis’s public health option will pass during the current session, which runs for about the next three months. By raising the prospect of hospital closures and prompting political opponents of the proposal to speak out, the industry-backed advertising campaign has put legislators under pressure to change the public option or walk away from it entirely. “The legislators, especially the ones who haven’t been paying close attention to this, are feeling the heat,” says Billy Wynne, a health-care consultant who advised on Colorado’s proposal but is no longer working for the state.

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