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Ballot Language, Amendment 69

Here is the language as it will appear on the November, 2016 ballot in Colorado.  Footnotes are added and will not appear on the ballot.

SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED $25 BILLION ANNUALLY[1] IN THE FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR, AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS THAT ARE RAISED THEREAFTER, BY AN AMENDMENT TO THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHING A HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SYSTEM TO FUND HEALTH CARE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS WHOSE PRIMARY RESIDENCE IS IN COLORADO, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, CREATING A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY[2] CALLED COLORADOCARE TO ADMINISTER THE HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SYSTEM; PROVIDING FOR THE GOVERNANCE OF COLORADOCARE BY AN INTERIM APPOINTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES UNTIL AN ELECTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES TAKES RESPONSIBILITY; EXEMPTING COLORADOCARE FROM THE TAXPAYER’S BILL OF RIGHTS; ASSESSING AN INITIAL TAX ON THE TOTAL PAYROLL FROM EMPLOYERS, PAYROLL INCOME FROM EMPLOYEES, AND NONPAYROLL INCOME AT VARYING RATES; INCREASING THESE TAX RATES WHEN COLORADOCARE BEGINS MAKING HEALTH CARE PAYMENTS FOR BENEFICIARIES; CAPPING THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF INCOME SUBJECT TO TAXATION; AUTHORIZING THE BOARD TO INCREASE THE TAXES IN SPECIFIED CIRCUMSTANCES UPON APPROVAL OF THE MEMBERS OF COLORADOCARE[3]; REQUIRING COLORADOCARE TO CONTRACT WITH HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PAY FOR SPECIFIC HEALTH CARE BENEFITS; TRANSFERRING ADMINISTRATION OF THE MEDICAID AND CHILDREN’S BASIC HEALTH PROGRAMS AND ALL OTHER STATE AND FEDERAL HEALTH CARE FUNDS FOR COLORADO TO COLORADOCARE; TRANSFERRING RESPONSIBILITY TO COLORADOCARE FOR MEDICAL CARE THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE PAID FOR BY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE; REQUIRING COLORADOCARE TO APPLY FOR A WAIVER FROM THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT[4] TO ESTABLISH A COLORADO HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SYSTEM; AND SUSPENDING THE OPERATIONS OF THE COLORADO HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGE AND TRANSFERRING ITS RESOURCES TO COLORADOCARE?

 

[1] A savings of at least $4.5 billion over what Coloradans collectively currently pay for health care.  ColoradoCare takes the money Coloradans already spend, eliminates the corporate insurance industry middlemen, and saves billions of dollars by using a simplified “Medicare for All” approach, covering all Coloradans the way Medicare covers all seniors.

[2] An independent, nonprofit cooperative.

[3] “Approval of the members” means a vote of Coloradans 18 and over.  All Coloradans are beneficiaries of ColoradoCare and all those aged 18 and above are voting members.

[4] The amendment cannot be enacted unless the waiver is granted, and the waiver will not be granted unless ColoradoCare is proven to cover as many people or more as the Affordable Care Act, at the same cost or less than the Affordable Care Act, with the same quality coverage or better than the Affordable Care Act.  This is both an appropriately high standard and a safeguard ensuring that the system can’t be implemented unless it will work.