Opinion

Letter: Amendment 69 is an opportunity for change

Author: Colorado Politics - October 27, 2016 - Updated: October 23, 2016

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The Colorado StatesmanThe Colorado Statesman

Editor:

I support ColoradoCare, or Amendment 69, because it will provide access to affordable, quality health care for all Coloradans. This matters to the families of Coloradans who die each year because they don’t have health insurance; to those declaring bankruptcy because they can’t pay medical bills; to those who pay ever higher premiums for increasing deductibles and more limited benefits; to health care providers who deal with more paperwork and red tape to provide patients the care they need.

We can change that situation by voting YES on Amendment 69 to implement a nonprofit, resident-owned, nongovernmental health care financing system designed to ensure comprehensive health care for all Coloradans.

The economics are straightforward; $25 billion in taxes will replace $30 billion Coloradans now pay in insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays. That savings will stay in Colorado to stimulate local economies.

Amendment 69 was developed by Coloradans, including health care and mental health professionals. It is funded by Coloradans and was brought to the ballot by over 100,000 voters signing petitions. Those who opposed the amendment are primarily funded by out-of-state insurance companies that stand to lose profit if Coloradans self-insure.

ColoradoCare would be run by a 21-member board elected by and accountable to Colorado residents, not government-controlled. Health care practitioners would practice in the setting of their choice and be paid competitive rates. Patients will choose their practitioner. Premium taxes can be increased only by a majority vote of Colorado residents.

Most families, individuals and businesses will pay less in premium taxes than they currently pay for health insurance. Calculate your projected expense at www.coloradocare.org. Multiple analyses show ColoradoCare to be successful for 10 years without a premium tax increase. By contrast, health insurance premiums are projected to rise 20 to 40 percent in 2017 alone.

This is an opportunity to ensure all Coloradans have access to quality health care now and in the future.

Jan Foster Miiller
Crestone, Colorado

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, is the state's premier political news publication, renowned for its award-winning journalism. The publication is also the oldest political news outlet in the state, in continuous publication since 1898. Colorado Politics covers the stories behind the stories in Colorado's state Capitol and across the Centennial State, focusing on politics, public policy and elections with in-depth reporting on the people behind the campaigns — from grassroots supporters to campaign managers and the candidates and issues themselves.


7 comments

  • J Jones

    October 27, 2016 at 8:56 am

    If adopted, Colorado’s rank on the State Business Tax Climate Index would plummet from 16th overall to 34th, and from 16th to 32nd on the individual income tax subcomponent.
    See: http://taxfoundation.org/article/colorado-amendment-69

    There are big tax increases, and then there’s Colorado Amendment 69. It’s “double the budget” big, and it’s on the ballot on November 8th.
    See: http://taxfoundation.org/blog/new-paper-coloradocare-amendment

    Vote NO on Amendment 69 (ColoradoCare)

    • Dave Beckwith

      October 27, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      The State Business Tax Climate Index is going to have to make changes to include a new factor in its index. When states start offering universal healthcare coverage, and Colorado could be the first, this will be a big incentive for businesses because they will no longer have to spend time and money supplying healthcare for their employees.

      Also, Colorado companies would no longer have to pay the 59% of worker’s comp for medical coverage. Companies will only have to pay 6.67% of payroll to cover all employees, even part-time and seasonal, for full coverage, including their families, and with no deductibles.

      Any employer who takes the time to actually do the math will find that ColoradoCare is a real bargain, and a healthier workforce is good for business.

  • San Smith

    October 27, 2016 at 10:34 am

    When has any government program ever met cost projections? Or delivered the promised results?

  • Julie Johnson

    October 27, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Vote NO. It will KILL us financially. Upper income earners filing jointly – you will now pay as much as $45,000/year for your “free healthcare”. Lower wage employees – you will take home 10% less pay. When you sell your home? The state gov’t will get 10% of your profits. The cost of housing will go up. Retirement income? You’ll get to keep 90% of it. Oh, joy.

    This will encourage people from out of state to move here and work under the table (or not at all) and get their “free healthcare”. Such a BAD PLAN. In what state did did single payer healthcare EVER work? Please don’t tell me Denmark or Sweden.

    • Dave Beckwith

      October 29, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Only rich people pay any tax on the sale of their homes. Only rich people would say they are being KILLED by paying $45,000 as a couple tho made over $450,0000 in one year.

      Retired people will only pay anything for ColoradoCare if they take over $60,000 per year out of their retirement funds, and ColoradoCare will provide a valuable supplementary coverage that will cover the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.

      ColoradoCare isn’t “free healthcare”, it’s healthcare that people pay for as a percent of what they earn, so everybody pays something, but only what they can afford.

      • Dave Beckwith

        November 6, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        Only a fraction of retired couples earn $60,000 per year. It would be great if people were able to do what their financial advisors suggest, but only a fraction actually do. That fraction may pay some tax to ColoradoCare, but the supplementary insurance provided by ColoradoCare to cover the holes in Medicare is valuable. A Medicare supplement F now costs $2000 to $3000 per year per person.

        So, if a retired couple has $110,000 in annual retirement income, about $50,000 may get taxed at 10%, or a tax of $5000. That’s about what it would cost them to buy the supplements to Medicare that ColoradoCare provides. Also, that $5000 paid in tax is deductible on the next year’s IRS 1040 as a state tax, further reducing the cost.

        So at $110,000 per year of retirement income, it’s not costing any more than they’re probably paying today. Amendment 69 is a good deal for the vast majority of Coloradans.

  • C Rollman

    October 31, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    ColoradoCare is grossly unfair to seniors who have saved diligently using IRA and 401k savings accounts. It will tax their savings withdrawals at a 10% marginal rate for medical care they already have in Medicare and therefore don’t need. Vote NO on Amendment 69!!!

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