Health

Colorado May Replace Obamacare With Single-Payer Plan

| by Kathryn Schroeder
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Residents of Colorado will decide in the November election whether to replace Obamacare in their state with a single-payer plan.

The proposed ColoradoCare would be a “resident-owned, non-governmental health care financing system designed to ensure comprehensive, quality, accessible, lifetime health care for every” resident of the state, according to Summary of ColoradoCare – Amendment 69.

ColoradoCare would include primary and specialty care services; hospitalization; prescription drugs and medical equipment coverage; mental health and substance use services, including behavioral health treatment; emergency and urgent care; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; pediatric care, including oral, vision and hearing services; laboratory services; maternity and newborn care; and palliative and end-of-life care.

The plan would carry no deductibles, and some primary and preventive services would not have a co-payment.

Premiums would be based on income, and everyone would be eligible regardless of their “financial circumstance.”

An additional payroll tax of 10 percent, with 6 2/3 percent paid by the employer and 3 1/3 percent paid by the employee, will be enforced to pay for the plan. A 10 percent tax on investment income, self-employed income and some small business income will also pay for the program, according to Fortune.

The amounts will be tax deductible.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Ohio opposes the single-payer plan.

"We do not support this proposal," Hickenlooper’s spokeswoman Kathy Green said in a statement to Colorado Public Radio. "We respect the motives of those behind it."

"Ultimately, it will be up to voters to decide on the merits of this initiative," Green said.

The governor’s office finds that it would be “premature to remake” the state’s health care system after reforms that were made are only starting to “bear fruit.”

ColoradoCare will appear on the state’s November 2016 ballot as Amendment 69.

Sources: Colorado Care, Fortune, Colorado Public Radio / Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

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