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Colorado Voters Reject Universal Health Care

Voters in Colorado soundly rejected Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare, that would have provided health care coverage for every single person in the state.

The Denver Post reports that the measure was losing 1,833,879 to 467,424 at 7 a.m. on Nov. 9, after 86 percent of the vote had been counted.

During an election party on Nov. 8, Democratic state Sen. Irene Aguilar, who supports universal health care, said: "The early returns, I hope, are not reflective of Colorado."

T.R. Reid, an author who supported ColoradoCare, added: "We learned a lot. And we’ll definitely be better next time."

Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, countered: "We’re grateful to the people of Colorado for carefully considering Amendment 69 and voting overwhelmingly against a measure that was clearly risky, untested, and fiscally irresponsible."

The Commonwealth Fund reported in 2014 that the U.S. ranked last "among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives."

Every country that ranked better than the U.S., except for Switzerland, has some form of universal health care.

The Commonwealth report added: "People in the U.S. have the hardest time affording the health care they need. The U.S. ranks last on every measure of cost-related access. More than one-third (37%) of U.S. adults reported forgoing a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care because of cost."

The Coloradoan reported on Nov. 7 that about 350,000 Colorado residents do not have health insurance, and for-profit health insurance companies are expected to raise their premium rates by 20.4 percent in 2017.

Amendment 69 would have replaced the health insurance companies with ColoradoCare, which would have been primarily paid for by a 10 percent payroll tax. Employees would have paid 3.33 percent of that tax, while employers would have picked up 6.67 percent.

The newspaper noted that the cost to someone making $50,000 a year would have been only $137 a month if ColoradoCare had passed. There were no deductibles, and people could not be turned down for pre-existing conditions.

Sources: The Commonwealth Fund, The Denver Post, The Coloradoan / Photo credit: ColoradoCareYES/Twitter

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