Resources & Insights

7 Reasons to Fear Amendment 69

November 3, 2016

Amendment 69, known as ColoradoCare, would amend Colorado’s constitution to establish a single-payer health care system in the state. There are plenty of big questions about the amendment that remain unresolved, including those related to costs, coverage, access to care, accountability, regulation and transparency.

Amendment 69
CCIG’s Scott McGraw.

Here are seven reasons to vote against it, although feel free to stop reading whenever you feel you’ve heard enough:

1. It would impose a new 10% payroll tax. Employers would pay 6.67% and the employee would have to cover the remaining 3.33%. The state income tax rate would then be 14.63%, the nation’s highest. Whether you’re an existing business, or a business that’s trying to grow, or a business considering relocating here, no one is going to view a 10% tax hike favorably.

2. It would be unfair to small business. If you’re a sole proprietor, LLC or an S-Corp., you’d have to pay the full 10%. That’s because those corporate structures require that all income to your company be treated as personal income.

3. It’s untested. Vermont took a shot at a similar plan but pulled the plug even though its own governor was an advocate. Vermont had the same concerns we’ve heard in Colorado: that the plan would be most devastating to small businesses and working-class families.

4. Coloradans would lose their existing coverage. There’s just no guarantee that the 21-member board of trustees created by the amendment to oversee the plan would replicate the coverage you have today.

5. It would end workers’ compensation as we know. The law would require the state General Assembly to repeal or amend the Workers’ Compensation Act and other laws regulating medical care for Coloradans who suffer injuries or develop serious illness on the job.

6. Say goodbye to accountability. The board of trustees would be elected by “members of the plan,” but there are no provisions about whether the system would be regulated by, or accountable to, the state, elected officials or the people.

7. It would eliminate competition. Employer-sponsored coverage would be thrown into upheaval by a government-run plan. Eight out of 10 workers are satisfied with their employer-sponsored health insurance. Why ignore their sentiments?

Scott McGraw is Vice President of CCIG’s Employee Benefits division. Reach him at 720-330-7924 or

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