Declare independence from health-care greed with Amendment 69

Thursday, June 30, 2016 1:45 PM

By Don Martin

Two hundred-and forty-years ago, American colonists struggled hard with deep ideological issues with Mother England.

Life in America was hard. Yet England continued raising taxes unabated. The colonists' voices fell upon deaf ears. The corrupt governor general supported the comfortable status quo which was only "comfortable" for those connected to the crown, himself, or those who profited handsomely from the exploitation of the colonists.

Finally, tempers began to rise. Revolt was in the air as were cries calling for fairness, justice and equality for the Colonists. Anger gave way to actions like the Boston Tea Party. The people broke out with public slogans like "No taxation without representation." Next came nighttime meetings where dreamers, businessmen, wealthy landowners, clergy, tradesmen and others who made up mainstream colonial America began drawing up a new road map to freedom. It was a brave map that would lead all toward a destination where the colonists would create a new experience of compassion, dignity, justice, and equality.

They knew that this could come at a dreadful price, including the loss of their own lives and of those who dared support this fledgling cause. Against all the traditional powers of the crown, their ragtag group declared their independence from the status quo and awaited the most powerful armies and navies the world had ever known to commence their annihilation. They bravely faced their own probable destruction without equivocation at the hands of the massive wealth of the most powerful nation on Earth.

With this Independence Day nearly upon us, I cannot help but feel the same anxiety, fear and trepidation that the ColoradoCare group must feel, like our forefathers felt. As they work to ensure every Coloradan has health care in a simple, affordable system like Medicare for all, the mega-billion dollar medical insurance companies backed by the unlimited resources of the Koch brothers are already vastly overwhelming the small, underfunded, understaffed and under-mechanized ColoradoCare faithful. These fearless Coloradans will fight the status quo forces of Big Medicine, Big Pharma and Big Insurance and their oligarchs. Even traditionally supportive cohorts like Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper have crumbled in fear of the odds.

They bow to the influx of dollars hoping to trade long-held Democrat beliefs for short-term job security. But one gnawing problem cannot be ignored. Every day Coloradans die, or ignore their own illnesses because they lack insurance. Scores are terribly underinsured, or are scared to trigger deductibles that will financially destroy their entire families.

Meanwhile, medical insurance companies bestow $20 million bonuses atop multi-million salaries on their CEOs. And then there are the board members and stockholders. All these massive profits are derived from collecting higher and higher premiums while providing fewer and fewer services and procedures to their insured.

We Coloradoans, like our early colonists, are fed up. We won't accept procedure denials, exorbitant premiums, multi-thousand deductibles and endless late billings and copays. We say, "enough is enough!"

We demand that our governor remember the FDR Democrats who preceded him. We demand that Coloradoans stop dying needlessly at the hands of egregiously greedy insurance companies and their mega-billionaire benefactor oligarch families. We demand that we, who elected you, be respected and supported by you. Doing what is morally right for your constituents must be your goal every minute of every day. Or we, the people of Colorado, will fight you, Gov. Hickenlooper, just like the people of the 13 Colonies fought their governor general in 1776.

Like those brave colonists, we will be heard! We will not be disenfranchised! We will stay with this cause as long as it takes to prevail.

Our battle is pure of heart because it is driven by the just cause of preserving life, not corporate profits.

Join us at May justice and the common good prevail.

Don Martin is a developer who has worked in marketing,sales, and hospitality management in Colorado, California, and Florida. He lives in Colorado Springs.