By Guinn Unger
This coming November, Coloradans will vote on ColoradoCare, Amendment 69. As I talk with folks about this initiative, people seem to think that liberals will vote Yes and conservatives will vote No.
I think this is an issue for everyone who cares about people's health and wasting huge amounts of money. I think conservatives should vote Yes.
Many conservatives do care about people's health, but they are rightly concerned about big new government programs that will collect lots of taxes and spend big bucks. We are all leery of government spending and particularly government waste.
Since ColoradoCare would collect new taxes of $25 billion per year, it's easy to see why conservatives would be skeptical. But there are a lot of reasons why ColoradoCare should make sense for conservatives. While we would all be paying $25 billion in taxes, we would all be saving $30 billion in health care spending. This means the residents and businesses of Colorado end up with $5 billion more in their pockets each year, money that can be used for all sorts of other things. The ColoradoCare plan has been thoroughly analyzed by economists, and the savings are real.
Another strong feature of ColoradoCare is that it is implemented via a constitutional amendment, not created by the Legislature. This means that the special interest lobbyists can't twist arms in the Legislature to have the program modified for their gain. ColoradoCare cuts out an incredible amount of spending for administrative tasks and insurance company profits, and that's why it is possible to save money while we are covering every Coloradan.
ColoradoCare is a program that collects taxes and pays for every resident's medical care. An independent elected board of directors will oversee its operation. There is no need for any Colorado resident to buy medical insurance ever again!
Rural areas tend to be more conservative, and ColoradoCare includes some terrific benefits for rural communities. Farmers and ranchers are typically self-employed, so they have to fend for themselves when it comes to finding health insurance they can afford. Workers in small towns often don't get any insurance from their employers, so they have the same problem. ColoradoCare covers every resident of Colorado from youngest to oldest, urban and rural.
One more big positive for conservatives: ColoradoCare replaces ObamaCare (which doesn't seem to be real popular with conservatives) with a system run by the people of Colorado.
So when you vote in November, remember you have two choices: Stick with the status quo, including ObamaCare, higher premiums, higher deductibles and never-ending administrative costs, and hope that somebody will do something about it. (How likely is that?)
Or vote Yes for ColoradoCare, Amendment 69 and let Colorado lead the way to a sensible, economical, and effective system that covers every resident of Colorado.
If you have questions about ColoradoCare, visit www.coloradocare.org. See how it will affect you: www.ColoradoCare.org/calculator. After you understand it, please contribute, tell your friends, and vote Yes for ColoradoCare.
Guinn Unger is an entrepreneur and worked at NASA. He served 28 years in the U.S. Army Reserves. He lives in Bayfield and is the La Plata County captain for ColoradoCare. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.