YES: Take our health care system away from insurance companies, help Coloradans get care they needColoradoCare is a universal health care payment system that will pay the medical expenses of all of the residents of Colorado. It is financed through $25 billion in new taxes, but it saves us the $30 billion that we spend each year on medical insurance, deductibles, hospitalization, drugs and more.
The opponents of ColoradoCare have been using the oldest trick in the book. They are trying to scare us. Led by the group Coloradans for Coloradans, which is financed by health insurance companies, drug companies and large hospital chains, they are running ads with half-truths and misinformation that have one purpose only. To make you afraid of ColoradoCare.
Well, you should be scared – but not of ColoradoCare. You should be afraid of the current system that generates billions of dollars in profits for insurance companies while forcing the rest of us to pay ever-larger premiums or go without medical insurance. You should be scared of the fact that while these companies generate billions in profits, 20,000 Americans will die this year, and every year, not because there’s not a cure for them, but because they cannot pay for the care that would save their lives. And you should be scared of the fact that 700,000 Americans will declare medical bankruptcy this year.
You may have read recently that individual policy premiums will go up 20 percent next year in Colorado. We Americans already pay twice as much per person for medical care as citizens of other developed countries, even though we don’t live longer, we are not healthier, and our infant mortality rate is the worst among developed countries.
The current system is pushing us into a position where only people who are well off will be able to afford medical insurance. We simply can’t tolerate these price increases year after year.
So, if we are going to be scared of something, we should be scared of doing nothing and letting the current system remain in place.
When you hear the ColoradoCare opponents spreading their lies and misinformation, make sure you know the truth.
The board of trustees cannot raise the tax rate without a vote of the people. Read the amendment. The board of trustees will not decide what is covered. The amendment clearly outlines the services that ColoradoCare must cover. It also states that the board must establish policies and procedures to cover us when we are temporarily out of the state.
ColoradoCare does not levy taxes on every dollar of retirement income. Read the amendment. Doctors will not leave the state. Small businesses will not collapse. Residents of other states will not be allowed to move to Colorado to get free health care.
So, be afraid. Be very afraid.
But there is something you can do about it. We Coloradans will take control of our health care payments from the big insurance companies and establish a cooperative whose only mission to is to make sure all Coloradans get the healthcare they need.
Vote ‘Yes’ for Amendment 69, ColoradoCare.
Guinn Unger lives in Bayfield. He is the La Plata County captain for ColoradoCare. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.NO: System in need of repair, but Amendment 69 is too costly, too risky and has too many unknownsOur nation’s health care system is in great need of repair, but Amendment 69, which would establish a health care payment system and government entity called ColoradoCare to administer it, is not the answer.
There are many opinions regarding a single-payer health care system for the entire nation and it is inconceivable to think that one state can set up a single-payer island amidst 49 others.
Whether you are Republican, Democrat or unaffiliated, all Coloradans should agree that Amendment 69 is bad for our state.
Coloradans should not have to risk our health care, income and economic future. This amendment would put Colorado into the highest income tax bracket in the nation with no guarantees of good coverage.
Amendment 69 will raise $25 billion annually in new tax revenues, nearly doubling the size of the current state budget. Every Coloradan would pay a 10 percent increase in their income tax. This includes your retirement income in excess of $24,000, Social Security income and interest and dividend income from savings accounts and stocks. Amendment 69 is exempt from TABOR, a constitutional amendment intended to restrain governmental growth, so these taxes will increase every year.
On top of this, small business owners, farms and ranches would financially suffer the most. Amendment 69 calls for an additional 10 percent payroll tax. Two-thirds of this is derived from a payroll tax increase on all small businesses and sole proprietors and one-third from every Colorado employee.
Colorado currently stands out as a magnet for new, cutting-edge companies and the high quality workers they attract. ColoradoCare is a big deterrent to doing business in Colorado.
Because government health care programs reimburse providers at substantially lower levels than private health care insurers, our current and future medical providers will go elsewhere. Our hospitals and clinics would not survive. Children’s Hospital in Denver, among many others, is against ColoradoCare.
ColoradoCare offers no guarantee it will improve patient care or reduce health care costs. To be eligible for ColoradoCare, you must live in Colorado for one year. Every Coloradan would be required to pay the increased taxes and their regular health care premium for two years before ColoradoCare would even begin in 2019. There are also no definitive provisions for out-of-state care or for residents living here seasonally, who would need to find alternative coverage.
ColoradoCare would be run by a 21-member board of trustees with no qualifications, no health industry experience and with limited accountability. This board would make the decisions on the rates of pay for our providers and what is or is not medically necessary.
The bottom line: Higher taxes, a lack of accountability and no guarantees about coverage is just too risky. There are too many unknowns surrounding Amendment 69. What is clear is the ever-increasing tax on our small businesses and individuals.
Vote “No” on Amendment 69. It is bad for Colorado, and bad for you. For more information visit: www.coloradansforcoloradans.com
Shelly Maycock lives in Durango. She is owner and agent for Maycock Insurance Agency, a family owned business. Reach her at email@example.com.