Colorado leaders launch campaign against single-payer health proposal
Opponents call it a risky plan that would double state budget
The Denver Post/Jan. 27,2016
The campaign to defeat a proposal for a single-payer health insurance system in Colorado is kicking off Thursday with some high-profile leaders.
Walker Stapleton, the Republican state treasurer, and former governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat, will co-chair what is being billed as a bipartisan campaign to oppose Amendment 69.
The opposition strategy will be outlined during a morning news conference at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, which also is contributing campaign leaders.
One prominent target: the cost.
In a news release, opponents call the initiative “a risky and untested state-run health insurance system” that would raise taxes by $25 billion in its first year.
Advocates propose a 10 percent payroll tax, with two-thirds of the money coming from employers and one-third from employees, to finance a Colorado health care system. They contend state control could save money by slashing administrative costs for private insurance providers and buying pharmaceuticals at bulk prices.
Other countries have government-run health care systems, but neither the United States nor any individual states have followed that approach.
In Denver, chamber of commerce president Kelly Brough said Colorado should not risk becoming the first state.
“Regardless of where you live in our state, regardless of your party affiliation and even regardless of whether or not you philosophically believe in a national single payer health care system — we can all agree that this proposal is bad for Colorado,” she said.
Stapleton said the health care proposal “would literally double the state budget” and impose a new tax on working families.
Ritter said the budget “is already burdened with too many constitutional measures — let alone one of this cost and magnitude.”
The opposition group, Coloradans for Coloradans, describes itself as backed by state business, civic and community leaders and state and local elected officials.