We volunteers of the ColoradoCareYes - La Plata County campaign are appalled to see the Durango Herald recommend a "No" vote for Amendment 69.
They seem to be telling us to adopt a "wait and hope" strategy. But there is absolutely no chance that the Colorado legislature is going to provide a solution to our horrendous medical payment system. Sen. Irene Aguilar, a medical doctor and the only practicing physician in the Colorado legislature, tried to get the Senate to just approve conducting a study to get facts about the real issues and they weren't even willing to do that.
Even if our partisan-paralyzed legislature were inclined to do something, the lobbyists would destroy it. The number-one lobbying industry in 2015, pharmaceuticals and health products, spent over $240 million influencing legislators across the country. Number two, insurance, spent another $157 million.
The citizens' initiative process exists for precisely these kinds of situations where the legislature is not responsive to the needs of the people. Establishing ColoradoCare as a part of the state constitution guarantees that the legislators, governor, and lobbyists can't twist it to their benefit and our detriment.
Suggesting that Colorado is not big enough for universal healthcare is a red herring. There are multiple European companies with successful programs whose population is smaller. See Denmark and Norway, for example.
So we would encourage everyone to insist that "wait and hope" is not a viable solution. Coloradans for Coloradans is an organization financed by large medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies whose only goal is to maintain their already obscene profits. Ask yourself if anyone is really looking out for your interests and whether you can afford constantly increasing insurance premiums and deductibles.
While we "wait and hope" in ignorance and fear, another 535 Coloradans will die next year because they can't pay for the healthcare they need, and another 10,000 will have to declare medical bankruptcy. Meanwhile, we can wait and hope that we don't get another 28 percent increase in next year's premiums. Vote YES for ColoradoCare (Amendment 69) and send a message to the insurance companies that Coloradans won't stand for any more of this!
Sherrod Beall, Harry Riegle, Kirby MacLaurin, Karen Pontius, and Sherry Plowman