Eye on the Legislature


October 31, 2016


  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.

A lot has been said and written about Amendment 69 and the impact passage of such a measure would have on Colorado. The damning analysis by Kaiser Permanente (see the columns for the last three weeks) is now confirmed with the analysis from the Tax Foundation, an independent research organization. That analysis follows, but keep in mind this cliche as you read:  “Show me the money.”

The analysis by the Tax Foundation shows Colorado voters just what will happen to not only their money and health care, but the overall damaging impact on the economy of Colorado.

Readers should recall that during the financial meltdown beginning in 2008, Colorado was in better economic shape than most states, and thus had a much quicker recovery. The analysis by the Tax Foundation shows Colorado would “plummet from 16th to 34th nationally on the State Business Tax Climate Index.” Not a picture any sound-minded person would want to see. Here are the findings (verbatim) of the Tax Foundation as published by NoOn69/Coloradans for Coloradans:

  • “Amendment 69 would hurt Colorado’s tax climate as the state would surpass California with the highest individual income tax in the country.”
  • “Amendment 69 would create as new bureaucracy, with immense authority to change taxes, outside of the state’s current balance of powers, eliminating transparency for taxpayers.”
  • “The economic incidence of payroll taxes is borne by employees, not employers. Splitting responsibility for the payment of the tax between employer and employee does not change the economic incidence.”
  • “Colorado would plummet from 16th to 34th nationally on the State Business Tax Climate Index, confronting voters with an important choice in the Centennial State.”

   This question warrants asking:  Is it the responsibility of citizens or government to take care of those uninsured who cannot afford to pay for insurance? The “public option” is deplored by many Americans, and politicians are typically afraid to even talk about the idea, but that may be the only solution unless us ordinary Americans are willing to pay not only for ourselves, but also for those who cannot afford insurance. How many retirees in Colorado can afford to pay an additional 10 percent tax on non-payroll income?

Beware of Section 9 of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Colorado, titled Funding of ColoradoCare – collection of premiums: 

  • “(3) Payment of the premium tax does not constitute the purchase of a health insurance policy by an employer or taxpayer.”
  • “(8) If the Board determines that a premium increase is necessary to maintain the fiscal stability of ColoradoCare, the Board may increase the premium taxes specified in subsection (2) of this section not more often than once per fiscal year, but only if a majority of the members of ColoradoCare who cast votes on the proposed increase approve it.” 
  • NOTE:  The vote on an increase is by “. . . the majority of the members of ColoradoCare who cast votes on the proposed increase approve it.” By definition, “member” is defined in Section 2 Definitions as “a beneficiary who is at least eighteen years of age and whose primary residence has been in Colorado for at least one continuous year.”
  • So ask yourself, is it doable to have a vote on increase of premium taxes “not more often than once per fiscal year” by everyone in Colorado? As stated earlier, the amendment is fraught with ambiguous language.
  • Strategic misrepresentation has been used rather freely in all the hype about “Healthcare for all,” but by definition, the meaning of that term says it all:  “a nice, diplomatic term for lying.”
   It’s out-on-a limb opinion time! There will be a mass exodus of retirees from this state should Amendment 69 pass. No person or group of persons is smart enough to make such a debacle as Amendment 69 work for the citizens of Colorado.

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