Amendment #69 – ColoradoCare
In a little over six months, Colorado voters will determine the fate of Amendment 69 – also known as ColoradoCare – which would impose the first statewide universal health care system in the country. If Coloradans pass the November ballot initiative, they will face a new tax burden that will hit the state hard.
Amendment 69 would double the state budget through a $27 billion tax increase to create a single-payer, government-run health insurance system, eliminating the current market-based system. Colorado’s income tax rate would increase from 4.63 percent to 7.96 percent, vaulting it into the top 10 states nationwide for income tax. Sole proprietors paying the full 10 percent would have an effective tax rate of 14.63, the highest in the country.
According to Amendment 69, every health care provider in Colorado (physicians, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, physical therapists, etc.) would be required to enter into a contract where the terms of the contract are unknown. Per the language of the amendment, providers will be reimbursed at a rate “competitive with other states.” However, there are no other states for comparison. Providers have expressed concern that the reimbursement would be set at state Medicaid rates, forcing many providers and hospitals out of business.
Many in the industry feel that Amendment 69 could be devastating for Colorado’s economy, employers and their employees.