OPINION: ColoradoCare is Big Government Replacing Big Business

The controversial State Constitutional Amendment 69, if passed by Colorado voters this November 8, will change the delivery and cost of health care for every Coloradan. Amendment 69 is marketed by its proponents as the health care plan “ColoradoCare”. It is not health care insurance, but a “plan”.

The proponents call ColoradoCare a co-op of all Coloradans. They insist it isn’t government. If it isn’t government, then why does it take an amendment to our state constitution to create it? Because it is an amendment, and not a bill, it cannot be tweaked and would be extremely difficult to repeal. We’re stuck.

How can the proponents say it isn’t government when the amendment stipulates a 10% state income tax increase (to 14.63%) to be collected by the Colorado Department of Revenue? By the way, 10% is just the starting point. If passed, the same people who voted Amendment 69 into law may vote for yearly tax increases, with no cap.

Why does Amendment 69 explicitly exempt ColoradoCare from TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights), which was designed to restrain growth in government?

It may sound warm and fuzzy to call ColoradoCare the people’s health care co-op, but it’s big government without any legislative oversight, and it doubles the Colorado state budget.

Amendment 69 proponents loathe the insurance companies that provide our current health care. Their answer is to replace them with ColoradoCare, a $38 billion bureaucracy controlled by one board that reports to no one. By comparison, the current state budget is $25.7 billion.

David Olinger of the Denver Post reports that “An independent analysis of Colorado’s proposed universal health care system estimates it would cover 83 percent of residents and create a massive new entity that would dwarf most U.S. corporations. …If it were a private company, ColoradoCare would rank about 80th in the Fortune 500, just behind New York Life Insurance and ahead of well-known companies such as American Express, Twenty First Century Fox, 3M, Sears, Nike and McDonald’s.”

It’s true that our current health care system is in need of replacement or severe repair. But Amendment 69/ColoradoCare is not the fix, and in fact could take down the state’s economy with its excessive new income tax that must be paid by every business and every individual – even those who aren’t eligible for ColoradoCare.

And have I mentioned that, except for emergencies, ColoradoCare won’t reimburse out-of-state providers? Emergency reimbursement is limited to what ColoradoCare would pay to an in-state provider.

There’s a lot of half-truths and misinformation presented and published on Amendment 69/ColoradoCare. So I’ve conducted my own extensive research, and have compiled a list of links to neutral organizations that have analyzed the pros and cons of Amendment 69, and its cost to you and Colorado. If you’d like to save time, go to Informative, Neutral Amendment 69/ColoradoCare Articles for links to these neutral websites.

I’m voting “No”, but please educate yourself and make your own decision.

Cynda Green

Cynda Green is an investigative reporter, writer, and photographer based out of Salida, Colorado. She may be contacted at cyndagreen@gmail.com.

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