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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

CHI Publishes Independent Analysis of ColoradoCare Proposal

You have a big decision to make.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it is one of the biggest public policy decisions in the history of Colorado statehood.

The decision is how to vote on Amendment 69, which would create ColoradoCare and make Colorado the first state to adopt a universal health coverage system.

Yes, Massachusetts has near-universal coverage, and the Affordable Care Act aspires to cover everyone. But ColoradoCare would be different. Everyone would get health coverage merely by living in the state, with no restrictions on citizenship, income or anything else.

To pay for it, ColoradoCare would get $25 billion in new taxes, plus all the money currently spent on Medicaid in Colorado. The resulting $38 billion annual revenue would make ColoradoCare larger than American Express or McDonalds.

ColoradoCare backers predict their plan would save money, both for individual taxpayers and the state as a whole. People would not have to buy private insurance, and billions of dollars in paperwork and administrative costs could be avoided, supporters argue.

Like I said, it’s a big decision.

The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) today is launching a series of reports to delve into ColoradoCare. The first report, ColoradoCare: An Independent Analysis, describes the amendment in detail. Future reports will look at winners and losers, the proposed finances and possible benefits and drawbacks.

CHI President Michele Lueck will be moderating a forum on ColoradoCare on Friday, April 15, at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s annual conference in Denver. The panel includes T.R. Reid, who is one of the main supporters of ColoradoCare, and Dr. Jill Vecchio of the Independence Institute, an opponent.

CHI will not advocate for or against ColoradoCare. We are a public benefit nonprofit, and our mission is to examine the evidence behind health policy decisions and share our analysis with policymakers. In this case, the policymakers are the voters. We hope our reports will help them make an informed decision on this momentous topic.