Resources & Insights

Amendment 69 Opposition from the Left and Right

October 24, 2016

If approved by voters on Election Day, Amendment 69 would kick off the most far-reaching health care reform in any state since the Affordable Care Act.

Amendment 69
CCIG’s Scott McGraw.

Actually, it would have even larger implications than the ACA, creating an entirely new health care system and eliminating private insurance and Medicaid.
Its proponents, of course, believe Amendment 69 would improve health for all Coloradans and lower costs. With the election fast-approaching, we at CCIG thought it would be useful to stop and listen to what others are saying about it.

We were struck, as you might be, by the fact that opposition to the amendment can be found across the political spectrum. Listen to these voices and see for yourself:

“ColoradoCare, the proposed government-run health insurance program presently before the state’s voters, is an extremely dangerous and completely untested social experiment that we urge voters to reject without reservation.” – Denver Post editorial.

“These people don’t have to have any kind of expertise in health care or risk assessment or actuarial And they can make decisions about the care plan that every Coloradan uses.” – Progress Now Executive Director Ian Silverii.

“There are few things in life that are more personal and more important than health care. And Amendment 69 seeks to essentially eliminate the health-care system as we know it and replace it with a first-of-its-kind, never-before-tested, government-funded health-care system, and lock that health-care system into the state’s constitution, making it really difficult to amend it or change it in the future. And we think that’s a risk too great to take.” – Cody Belzley, Coloradans for Coloradans’ policy director. 

“Physicians know there are many problems with the current health care system that they and their patients know all too well, but Amendment 69 is not the answer. Our physician members believe the complexity, uncertainty and approach behind Amendment 69 may make things worse.” – Dr. Katie Lozano, Colorado Medical Society President-elect.

“Supporters of Amendment 69 say that integrating workers’ comp into ColoradoCare will save Colorado businesses money because their workers’ comp premiums will go down. But any workers’ comp savings will be eroded quickly by lower worker productivity and increased wage replacement costs.” – Phil Kalin, president and CEO of Pinnacol Assurance.

“The initiative is incredibly vague. There are no guarantees for health insurance coverage, forcing Coloradans to give up current coverage in the hopes that the (ColoradoCare) Board will decide to replicate current coverage. Coloradans and their employers can attempt to secure additional coverage, but will have to pay both the tax for the public system and private premiums.” – The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

“This would give Colorado the highest income tax in the country. It would attract people from all over the country to Colorado because they can’t get adequate health care elsewhere to come here for free medical care. This is a very dangerous ballot proposal.” – Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

“Michael does not think that single payer is the right approach to solving our health care problems, and in particular has concerns about putting a complete overhaul of our health care system, including a massive tax increase, into the State Constitution where it can’t be changed.” – Sen. Michael Bennet campaign spokesman Andrew Zucker.

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

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