Amendment 69, ColoradoCare’s proposal on the November ballot to provide health insurance for all Coloradans, proposes that there will be a premium tax on payroll and some non-payroll income to provide funds necessary to cover all residents. Groups opposed to ColoradoCare call this an increase in the burden of taxes all Coloradans would pay, making Colorado the “most heavily taxed state in the union.”
Let’s look at this more carefully. The ColoradoCare premium tax would not be an additional burden on taxpayers because it would replace the current confusing and complex system of health insurance premiums that everyone now has to pay for coverage, whether employer, employee, self-employed or retired. Unfortunately, many people cannot afford these premiums, even under Obamacare, and go without insurance altogether. About a million Coloradans currently are either uninsured or underinsured due to the high cost of health insurance.
Under ColoradoCare, the cost of health insurance will be far lower than currently charged by for-profit health insurance corporations – $25 billion versus $31 billion – and no one would be without coverage. This is critical because many large health insurers are pulling out of rural areas like ours, leaving in some cases only a single insurer. These corporations normally charge higher fees for servicing rural areas, and can do so because their only concern is profit.
ColoradoCare, set up as a nonprofit cooperative owned, operated and overseen by the residents of Colorado, would reduce individual health insurance costs by eliminating profits while guaranteeing that rural areas would not be faced with higher premiums than urban areas. All premium taxes for ColoradoCare would be at the same rate wherever you lived in the state. Call it what you like, a health insurance “tax” or a “premium,” ColoradoCare, Amendment 69, would provide health care coverage for all residents and do so at much lower rates for most Coloradans.
Don’t let the opposition groups scare you with the word “tax.” Please go online to ColoradoCare.org, do the math and see how much you would save.