Eye on the Legislature

September 26, 2016


Proponents of Amendment 69 are now pulling in celebrities from afar to do their bidding to pass Amendment 69 which should be a red flag to all Coloradans. First Bernie Sanders from the state of Vermont that pulled the plug on a single-payer health plan before it could be set in motion because the state's own analysis and figures showed it would wreck the finances and economy of Vermont.

Now, "legendary activist and feminist icon" Gloria Steinem makes an appearance in Boulder, Colorado "speaking to volunteers as a surrogate for the Hillary for America campaign" and book tour promoting her memoir, My Life on the Road, her six decades on the front lines of social political activism. Of course, what better opportunity to rope someone such as this into the Amendment 69 crusade.

The news release has Ms. Steinem channeling Supreme Justice Louis Brandeis in "calling the states the 'laboratories of democracy,'" and, that "the Affordable Care Act invites such innovation at the state level by encouraging states to improve on the ACA's health care reform by seeking waivers and enacting plans that will cover as many people or more at the same cost or less while offering the same benefits or better," – not exactly a ringing endorsement for passage of Amendment 69.

ColoradoCare then professes without any real support to save Coloradans a collective $4.5 billion a year which ignores these significant points:

  1. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton states emphatically it will increase the state budget by $25 billion dollars in the first year , almost doubling the state budget, no calculator needed (state budget is $27 billion);
  2. Increases taxes to the level of making Colorado the highest taxed in the country;
  3. Burdens retirees with 10 percent taxes on all non-payroll income; 
  4.  Coloradans will loose the protection afforded by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) because passage of Amendment 69 means it will be exempt from TABOR, or any state oversight; and
  5. The ballet language and proposed amendment to the constitution contain no caps on any income, despite proponents giving out detailed figures on caps and language that says taxes can be changed by a vote of the yet-to-be determined governing board at any time they decide to do so.

   Amendment 69 proponents continue to use more and more double talk in attempt to "horn-swaggle" voters into this nightmare, ignoring the thousands of Coloradans who have coverage under the Affordable Care Act and never had insurance before, often due to pre-existing conditions, coverage which is not guaranteed under Amendment 69.

If you are a retiree in Colorado, look at your monthly finances and see what you would sacrifice in order to turn over 10 percent of your income to ColoradoCare for health insurance.

The following paragraphs are provided each week as a reminder of the critical controlling points for the ColoradoCare Amendment 69 that Coloradans will be voting on in November. 

  • All Coloradans will lose their current benefit plan to be replaced by benefits yet to be determined, to be serviced by an entity yet to be identified, to include providers yet to be named.
  •  Readers are cautioned that anything you read or hear about Amendment 69 means ColoradoCare is across the board totally exempt from the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. There will be no restriction on the tax (premiums) the governing board can impose on you the citizens of Colorado. (Section 10. Exemption. ColoradoCare and this article are exempt from Section 20 of Article X of the Colorado Constitution. [Article X is the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (aka TABOR)].
  • Further caution - Section 3. There is hereby established a political subdivision of the state called ColoradoCare. ColoradoCare is not an agency of the state and is not subject to administrative direction or control by any state executive, department, commission, board, bureau or agency.  

   When politicians and their supporters take on an issue such as health care and Amendment 69, paying attention to what is not being said in all the hyperbole to get

something passed is the true test of credibility. Remember, the statements by the ColoradansForColoradans NoOn69 folks that "Colorado should not be the guinea pig," and "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."

   Senator Sanders' statements quoted later in this column confirm what passage of Amendment 69 would mean. Please read on.

The folks at ColoradoCare Amendment 69 continue casting a broad net in attempt to enlist experts to endorse the proposed universal health care system, a term now being used to refer to what has previously been known as a single-payer state health care system.

In previous columns, the attempt by the state of Vermont was identified as the only other state in the United States to try to adopt a single-payer state health care system. That attempt failed – it was never put into operation and withdrawn by the Governor of Vermont upon submission of a final analysis that showed it would double the state budget.

This writer believes it is a true signal of the up-hill battle a measure faces by this:  the "splashier and flashier" the endorsers are, the more trouble proponents realize the measure is in for.

A news release last week by ColoradoCare announced Senator Bernie Sanders launched his new organization, Our Revolution, with a glowing endorsement of Colorado's Amendment 69 "as one of a handful of measures his group is actively supporting." Sanders also said, "There is an important ballot initiative in Colorado which calls for a Medicare-for-All health care system." "It is absurd, it is beyond belief, that here in America we remain the only major country on [e]arth not to guarantee health care to all people. If that proposal can win in Colorado, I believe that idea will spread around the country, and Our Revolution is supporting Amendment 69," and is making it one of the top issues of his new organization.

Now, readers should recall, this Senator Sanders is the same Senator Sanders who gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the recent Democratic Presidential primary earlier this year. The Director of Communications for Amendment 69, Owen Perkins, made this                 statement:  "It's hard to imagine a figure whose support of Colorado Care is more meaningful than Senator Sanders . . . Senator Sanders has helped create the ideal environment for passing ColoradoCare."

By the way, for those who may have already forgotten – Senator Sanders is from the great state of Vermont, the same Vermont that ditched a proposed single-payer state health care system before it ever went into operation because it could not afford the horrendous cost.

The ringing endorsement by Sanders of Colorado's proposed single-payer state health care system borders on the insane. Why should the citizens of Colorado suffer the consequences of a system that has never been in operation anywhere in this country?

For readers in the 65 and over crowd, please beg, cajole, "bribe," do whatever it takes to get all those you know or come in contact with to work diligently, even aggressively, to defeat Amendment 69. The 65 and over segment of Colorado's population will suffer the greatest financial detriment should Amendment 69 pass in November – to the tune of a 10 percent tax on ALL non-payroll income!

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