DENVER, CO - The corporate insurance industry is taking a no-holds-barred approach in its efforts to turn the tide of public opinion and counter the growing groundswell of support for ColoradoCare, the statewide universal health care plan that voters will decide on in the November election.
Of the 1,672 total combined contributions made to the two prominent campaigns both in support of and in opposition to Amendment 69 this year, a stunning 1,607 (96%) of those contributions went to the ColoradoCareYES campaign supporting the amendment.
“The people of Colorado can’t tolerate a broken health care system that lets 535 Coloradans die each year because they lack health care insurance,” said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for ColoradoCareYES. “It’s time to put patients over profits and ensure everyone in Colorado has full access to quality care at an affordable price.”
But even as ColoradoCare’s “Medicare for All” plan to cover every Coloradan with greatly enhanced health care benefits while saving $4.5 billion a year continues to gain public support, the opposition campaign can claim a victory in cementing its support among the corporate insurance industry.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s campaign finance report records reveal the opposition group “Coloradans for Coloradans” raised 99.94% of its funds from corporations in the most recent reporting period, with 84% of its funds coming from out-of-state interests. Though the group only collected 18 contributions in the just concluded reporting period, those contributions average just under $100,000 each ($99,675).
ColoradoCareYES, on the other hand, has relied almost entirely on individuals, with 99.69% of its contributions this year coming from individuals and 92% of the funds raised coming from Colorado. In the most recent reporting period, the average donation from universal health care supporters was $48.55.
“Why are out-of-state corporate insurance interests pumping money into Colorado to defeat this ballot measure?” asked Perkins. “Are they afraid that Colorado’s switch to a patient-first, non-profit model of health care coverage will cut into their skyrocketing corporate profits? It’s hard to believe that Colorado alone could put a dent in the billion-dollar profits the status quo provides the health insurance industry. But when Colorado passes universal health care, and states across the country follow our lead and move to a ‘Medicare for All’ model, the fears of these mega-corporations who want to pad their pockets with our health care dollars begin to add up.”
A recent poll showing Amendment 69’s path to victory may be fueling those fears. The Denver Business Journal cited a Magellan poll in its Friday, May 27 edition that showed ColoradoCare winning 55% of the votes of likely Colorado voters when the amendment is explained in terms the proponents use and still winning 51% of the vote when it is explained in terms the opposition uses.
The opposition’s campaign finance report continues to make the case that has been clear to the people of Colorado since Amendment 69 first made the ballot: the only losers if Amendment 69 passes is the corporate insurance industry that has profited at the expense of Coloradans who suffer financial hardship, medical bankruptcy, and death because of our failing health care system. ColoradoCare offers relief at last to patients and provider alike who have taken a back seat to corporate CEOs and bottom-line profits.
The three biggest opposition funders to-date - Anthem ($1,000,000; Ohio), KP Financial Services ($500,000; California), and United Healthcare Services ($450,000; Connecticut) - are all out of state and account for nearly 2/3s of the total opposition funding.
Rounding out the top 10 on the opposition’s big donor list is a who’s who of big pharma and corporate insurance. Centura Health (Colorado) has contributed $125,000 through May 25, Cigna Health (Pennsylvania), PHRMA (Washington DC), Mountain West Series of Lockton Companies (Colorado), Healthone System Support (Colorado), and SCL Health (Colorado) gave $100,000 each, and Davita (Washington) gave $75,000.
|ColoradoCareYES||Coloradans for Coloradans|
|Total Number of Contributions||1,607||65|
|% Funds from Corporations, period ending 5.25.16)||0.525%||99.936%|
|% Funds from Individuals, period ending 5.25.16||99.475%||0.064%|
|% Total Funds Raised from Colorado||92%||28%|
|Average Donation, Period ending 5.25.16||$48.55||$99.665.00|
Oppostion Donors (total given, 1.1.16 - 5.25.16)
|2. KP Financial Services||California||$500,000|
|3. United Healthcare Services||Connecticut||$450,000|
|4. Centura Health||Colorado||$125,000|
|5. Cigna Health||Pennsylvania||$100,000|
|5. Mountain West Series of
|5. PHRMA||Washington DC||$100,000|
|5. Healthone Systems Support||Colorado||$100,000|
|5. SCL Health||Colorado||$100,000|
|11. Colorado Association
|11. Encana Oil and Gas||Colorado||$50,000|
|11. Associated Contractors
|11. Colorado Concerns||Colorado||$50,000|
|11. Denver Metro Chamber
|16. First Bank Holding
Company of Colorado
|16. Delta Dental||Colorado||$25,000|
|16. EKS&H LLLP||Colorado||$25,000|
|20. Capital Management