Eye on the Legislature

August 22, 2016


   The hype of those behind ColoradoCare Amendment 69 continues to amaze this “seen-it-all” journalist. One of the latest news releases contains this statement:  “There will be no insurance premiums, no deductibles and no co-pays for primary care.” That follows the old legal premise used by wise and savvy attorneys – “when you don't have a case, bring on the red herring.”

   The mantra of ColoradaCare Amendment 69 is “Medicare for all.”  Obviously the proponents of this ballot initiative are unaware, or more likely choose to ignore completely the well-publicized fiscal shape of the Medicare program which has been the case for quite sometime.

   The proponents of ColoradoCare Amendment 69 refuse to publicly address the tax burden such a glorious “solution to health care” would wreak on the citizens of Colorado who are retired, now living on retirement income – Social Security, pensions, IRAs and investment income – all of which would be taxed at a rate of 10 percent. While explanations are freely given by the ColoradoCare Amendment 69 folks about the income exemption level, no exemption cap is included in the November ballot language, and the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Colorado includes no such language.

   It is also interesting to note how the various releases play on wording:  “Funding for the program will primarily come through a 3.33 percent payroll deduction from employees and 6.67 percent for employers.” Still no pronouncement on the 10 percent to all be totally paid by retirees who identify Colorado as their primary residence, as stated in the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Colorado, which by the way, is referred to as “all non-payroll income.” For reader's reference, the complete language of  proposed amendment is available on the website of the ColoradansForColoradans NoOn69 website.

   To be sure all are paying attention, the passage of Amendment 69 would give Colorado the highest taxes in the United States. This point alone is cause for heart attack by those such as the Chambers of Commerce trying to attract new businesses to Colorado.

   The opposition to Amendment 69, ColoradanForColoradans describes the governing board to be established by passage with these statements:

  • Colorado Care would be run by a 21-member Board of Trustees which would be exempt from recall and have no accountability to the Governor or legislature.
  • The Board will be responsible for running a new $36 billion entity.
  • Decisions about our health care are too important to leave to inexperienced, unaccountable politicians. “Those decisions Coloradans should not be made by unaccountable government bureaucrats.”

   Coloradans recall the Colorado Benefits Management System which went online in September of 2004 during the Owens Administration that was a catastrophic nightmare to those who relied on benefits for the very food and roofs over the heads of Colorado's most vulnerable. The nightmare was ongoing more than 10 years later, even after threats by the Federal Government to withhold its portion of funding.

   This is Coloradans for Coloradans' latest statement on what ColoradoCare Amendment 69 would mean for the state:

  • Colorado should not be the guinea pig.
  • One state, tiny Vermont, led by a pro single-payer Governor tried this same plan. He abandoned the plan after it was clear it would bust the state budget to administer.
  • Coloradans should not have to risk their health care, their income and our economic future on a risky experiment that has never been tried anywhere before.

   Those wishing to make a name for themselves in the “first to . . .” need to go back to the starting gate.

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at doris@dorisbeaver.com.