Sin­gle- payer op­po­nents mo­bi­lize

A bi­par­ti­san ef­fort op­poses the cost of the health care plan.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By David Olinger David Olinger: 303- 954- 1498, dolinger@ den­ver­post. com or @ dolingerdp

The cam­paign to de­feat a pro­posal for a sin­gle- payer health in­sur­ance sys­tem in Colorado is kick­ing off Thurs­day with some high- pro­file lead­ers.

Walker Sta­ple­ton, the Repub­li­can state trea­surer, and for­mer gov­er­nor Bill Rit­ter, a Demo­crat, will co- chair what is be­ing billed as a bi­par­ti­san cam­paign to op­pose Amend­ment 69.

The op­po­si­tion strat­egy will be out­lined dur­ing a morn­ing news con­fer­ence at the Den­ver Metro Cham­ber of Com­merce, which also is con­tribut­ing cam­paign lead­ers. One prom­i­nent tar­get: the cost. In a news re­lease, op­po­nents call the ini­tia­tive “a risky and un­tested state- run health in­sur­ance sys­tem” that would raise taxes by $ 25 bil­lion in its first year.

Ad­vo­cates pro­pose a 10 per­cent pay­roll tax, with two- thirds of the money com­ing from em­ploy­ers and one- third fromem­ploy­ees, to fi­nance a Colorado health care sys­tem. They con­tend state con­trol could save money by slash­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive costs for pri­vate in­sur­ance providers and buy­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals at bulk prices.

Other coun­tries have govern­men­trun health care sys­tems, but nei­ther the United States nor any in­di­vid­ual states have fol­lowed that ap­proach.

In Den­ver, cham­ber of com­merce pres­i­dent Kelly Brough said Colorado should not risk be­com­ing the first state.

“Re­gard­less ofwhere you live in our state, re­gard­less of your party af­fil­i­a­tion and even re­gard­less of whether or not you philo­soph­i­cally be­lieve in a na­tional sin­gle payer health care sys­tem— we can all agree that this pro­posal is bad for Colorado,” she said.

Sta­ple­ton said the health care pro­posal “would lit­er­ally dou­ble the state bud­get” and im­pose a new tax on work­ing fam­i­lies.

Rit­ter said the bud­get “is al­ready bur­dened with toomany con­sti­tu­tional mea­sures— let alone one of this cost and mag­ni­tude.”

The op­po­si­tion group, Coloradans for Coloradans, de­scribes it­self as backed by state busi­ness, civic and com­mu­nity lead­ers and state and lo­cal elected of­fi­cials.

State Trea­surer Walker Sta­ple­ton, left, and for­mer Gov. Bill Rit­ter will be the co- chair­man of a cam­paign to op­pose Amend­ment 69.

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