Election 2016: Amendment 69 — Statewide health care system
Amendment 69 outlines a financing plan for a proposed statewide health care system called ColoradoCare.
The plan would create a new 10 percent tax on most sources of income with a goal of using the money to fund universal health care for all Colorado residents and eliminating most of the need for health insurance.
A 21-member elected board would work out the many yet-to-be determined details of exactly how ColoradoCare would work, and that board could propose future tax increases if necessary to fund the system.
Proponents of ColoradoCare argue that it would make healthcare more equitable and accessible to all people, regardless of their income, and would keep overall healthcare costs lower by eliminating the need for insurance companies.
The proposed 10 percent income tax would be split, with employers paying 6.67 percent of payroll and employees contributing 3.33 percent. Self-employed workers would be responsible for the full 10 percent, business profits not reinvested into companies would be taxed at 10 percent and rental property income would be taxed at 10 percent.
Retirement income up to $20,000 for people 55 to 64 years old and up to $24,000 for those 65 and older would be exempt from the tax, but exceeding amounts would be taxed at 10 percent.
People on Medicare would still rely on that program as their primary form of health coverage, but ColoradoCare could help fill in some gaps with medicare coverage.
Opponents of the amendment argue that new taxes will harm the Colorado economy and there is no guarantee that ColoradoCare will improve patient care or reduce health care costs.
The potential universal health care could also invite sick and injured people from other states into Colorado and drive away businesses not interested in paying the new tax and medical providers not interested in probable price controls.
Business owners argue that the burden for small businesses is too great, as many don’t currently provide any insurance but will now be responsible for paying 6.67 percent of payroll into the system.
To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistowTo reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow
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