Universal Health Care Ballot Initiative Wins Ally in Colorado
Thursday, December 17, 2015
DENVER - One of the state's leading non-partisan voices has endorsed ColoradoCare, a health care plan on next year's November ballot.
Barb Mattison, president of the League of Women Voters of Colorado, says the initiative would ensure all of the state's residents have access to mental health and substance abuse care, a priority for the group.
And she says the plan would also cover thousands of Coloradans currently falling through coverage gaps under the Affordable Care Act.
"We have too many people using emergency rooms for their care," says Mattison. "Every one of us now supports all that through our health care premiums. We need to even things out in Colorado, make care affordable for everyone."
Mattison adds low-income families, as well as people suffering from poor mental health and substance abuse, would be treated the same as any other patients under the initiative. The Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters opposes the plan and told the Denver Post a single-payer system could mean the end of private health insurance.
T.R. Reid, a ColoradoCare spokesperson, has produced health care documentaries for the Public Broadcasting Service series Frontline and is a best-selling author. He says because the measure would cover at least as many Coloradans as the Affordable Care Act, the state could opt out and save almost $5 billion in the first year alone.
"This is better than what we've got now, it gets us out of Obamacare," says Reid. "So this covers everybody, saves money, and it's a plan designed in Colorado, not in Washington D.C."
Reid adds the state's Legislative Council has vetted the economics of the initiative. He says by following Medicare's model, the new plan will spend just four percent of its budget on administrative expenses, compared with private health insurance costs as high as 20 percent.
Reid says he's looking forward to working with the League of Women Voters' 19 Colorado chapters to help educate the public on the initiative's benefits. That will begin next year.
get more stories like this via email
A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …
Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …
Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…
As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …
Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …
It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …
By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…
As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…