19:47 GMT04 July 2020
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    In an unprecedented move, Colorado may become the first state to replace Obama Care with a single-payer health insurance plan that would guarantee coverage for all of the state’s residents.

    This November, voters in Colorado will decide whether to keep the Affordable Health Care Act or give it the boot and usher in a single-payer, state-wide health coverage plan. The $38 billion-a-year measure proposed by the organization ColoradoCare would largely be funded by tax increases.

    A 10 percent hike on payroll tax would break down into 6.7 percent for employers and 3.3 percent for workers. An additional 10 percent would be levied on self-employed workers. The 10 percent tax hike would also apply to investment income and small business income.

    If passed, ColoradoCare would cover all state residents and allow them to choose doctors and specialists without distinguishing between “in network” and “out of network.” The plan also would eliminate deductibles.

    Insurance groups and the Colorado Chamber of Commerce along with members of the medical and business fields are rallying against the plan. Opponents argue the plan’s details are too vague and its cost threatens to cripple the state economy.

    According to the New York Times, the plan requires a budget bigger than that of the entire state government’s economy. The 10 percent payroll tax also would put Colorado’s tax rate among the highest in the nation.

    Still, some residents are optimistic about the plan. After all, they live in a state where voters supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percent during the Colorado primary. Sanders is proposing a similar “Medicare for All” measure at the national level. 

    Some say they’re still paying too much in premiums along with thousands in deductibles even with Obama Care.

    “No matter how long we hang in there with the Affordable Care Act, we will never cover everybody,” said Jeanne Nicholson, a former Democratic state senator who supports universal health care. “We don’t understand why we should compromise and say some people can have bronze coverage, some can have silver and some can have gold. Why can’t we all have platinum plus?”

    Although unprecedented in the US, a single payer health care system in which a public or quasi-public entity manages health care financing is not unheard of elsewhere. Several developed countries including the UK, Canada and Brazil have these systems. 

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    Tags:
    health care, ColoradoCare, Obamacare, Colorado Chamber of Commerce, Colorado
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