Colorado Information

Chapter Organization

As of early 2018, Colorado has a newly chartered statewide chapter, PNHP-CO. We believe that we have the best chance in decades to pass national single-payer health care reforms, and that Colorado physicians advocating for a true single payer system can play a key role in making that happen.

An ad hoc steering committee is meeting to decide on our first steps. We will be reaching out to current and former PNHP members across the state in the near future.


Cecile Rose, MD, MPH

Dr. Cecile Rose is professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and director of the occupational and environmental medicine clinic at National Jewish Health. She holds a secondary appointment in the Colorado School of Public Health. She has been named among Denver’s Top Doctors by 5280 magazine and America’s Top Doctors by US News & World Report and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Dr. Rose is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Dr. Rose has been involved in collaborative research in noninfectious granulomatous lung diseases including sarcoidosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis (with particular focus on hot tub, swimming pool and bioaerosol-related cases). Her other research focuses on mining-related lung diseases including silicosis and radiogenic diseases of uranium miners and millers; laboratory-animal allergen and endotoxin exposures; and flavor-related lung diseases.

Dr. Rose has a long-standing interest in occupational and environmental lung diseases. She has particular experience in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) and in the pneumoconioses, including diagnosis, causation, management and prevention. She also is committed to the diagnosis and management of patients with sarcoidosis.

Rick Bieser, MD

ColoradoCare Ballot Initiative

An initiative to amend Colorado's constitution and create a taxpayer-funded health insurance cooperative (ColoradoCare) was on the state's ballot in 2016. It did not pass. PNHP has a short analysis of ColoradoCare here.

Local Unions Endorsing HR676

  • Boulder Area Labor Council
  • District Council 1, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, IUPAT

Colorado State News

Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2018

By George Bohmfalk, M.D. | The Aspen (Colo.) Times, September 13, 2018
Inasmuch as most people younger than 65 have no great need to understand what Medicare is, and as Medicare may be a good model on which to build a universal system, I'll briefly explain a bit about it.

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Interview with Dr. George Bohmfalk | KDNK Community Radio (Carbondale, Colo.), September 6, 2018
On Thursday, September 6, Physicians for a National Health Program screens Fix It: Healthcare at The Tipping Point at Carbondale’s Third Street Center.

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2018

By George Bohmfalk, M.D. | The Aspen (Colo.) Times, September 6, 2018
Is health care is a right or a privilege? Discussions about health care commonly break down over this moral disagreement.

Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

By Louis Balizet, M.D. | The Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftain, September 4, 2018
Canadians live on average three years more than we do (82 versus 79 years). They pay, per capita, 50 percent less than we do for health care ($4,613 vs. $9,507).

Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2018

By Bill Semple, L.C.S.W. | The Daily Camera (Boulder, Co.), July 21, 2018
How do we live with the fundamental reality that we are all in this together while tending to our responsibilities to ourselves and our loved ones? We see this come to the fore when figuring out how we best pay for our health care.

Posted on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

By Ivan J. Miller | Daily Camera (Boulder, Co.), July 11, 2017
To effect "safety and happiness" and "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," a government should provide police protection, fire fighters, a national defense, and safe drinking water. In 2017, financing health care is every bit as important as these other essential government protections.

Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2017

By Louis Balizet, M.D. | The Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftain, Jun 17, 2017
Last month, a Pueblo woman, while on vacation far from home, developed chest pain, cough and shortness of breath. She had had blood clots in her lungs previously, and feared a recurrence of this potentially deadly condition.

Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2016

By Richard D. Lamm and Vince Markovchick, M.D. | The Denver Post, Dec. 17, 2016
With the impending repeal of Obamacare, America is headed toward a public policy train wreck. Three seemingly unstoppable trends in America are on collision course.

Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2016

By Shelby Livingston | Modern Healthcare, Nov. 9, 2016
"Win or lose, the issue of guaranteed access to healthcare for everyone without financial barriers was finally brought before the voters,” state Sen. Irene Aguilar, who has spearheaded ColoradoCare, told a crowd of supporters Tuesday.

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016

By Virginia Gebhart | Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.), Oct. 13, 2016
You've seen the countless ads on TV, sponsored by Coloradans for Coloradans. This is the opening line, "Sometimes too big can be bad." I agree. I invite you to think about who is too big. Is it ColoradoCare or is it an insurance company...

Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

By Michael Roberts | Westward (Denver), Oct. 5, 2016
Different people have different priorities about what they think is best about ColoradoCare. For me, it's about getting us to the threshold where we can make sure everybody's covered, everybody's got access to health care.

Posted on Monday, October 3, 2016

By Chris Schwab | The Coloradoan, Letters, Oct. 3, 2016
I guess I'm supposed to laugh when I see the cutie-pie anti-Amendment 69 ad that has been popping up on TV — but the only reaction I seem to be having is my blood pressure rising.

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

By Don Pfost, Ph.D. | The Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftan, July 1, 2016
The broadcast and print media (including The Chieftain), opponents and, unfortunately, some supporters, erroneously claim that Amendment 69/ColoradoCare would create a “single-payer” health care system in Colorado. It would not. Here’s why.

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016

By Patricia Rice | Pagosa Daily Post, June 8, 2016
A recent poll conducted by Magellan Strategies shows ColoradoCare winning the battle of ideas when it comes to health care in Colorado. Magellan, a nationally respected pollster that the Koch-brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity calls “a trusted partner” and that the Colorado Republican Committee calls “reliable and accurate,” did the research that shows Coloradans support Amendment 69’s universal health care plan regardless of which side of the argument they hear.

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

By Penny Thron-Weber, M.D. | The Denver Post
The opposition group Coloradans for Coloradans could more appropriately be named Insurance Companies for Their Self-Interest. I am aware that ColoradoCare is a complex proposal with many details still to be worked out. But let s not fool ourselves about what we have now: a very broken system that serves fewer and fewer people well. We need to try for something better.

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2016

By Jack Healy | The New York Times
For years, voters in this swing state have rejected tax increases and efforts to expand government. But now they are flirting with a radical transformation: whether to abandon President Obama’s health care policy and instead create a new, taxpayer-financed public health system that guarantees coverage for everyone.

Posted on Monday, February 1, 2016

By Anne C. Courtright, M.D. | The Pueblo Chieftain
HCAC does not like to see people die or become disabled because they cannot afford to get needed health care or, all too often, go bankrupt when they do. Our current system is not working well.

Posted on Friday, December 4, 2015

By David Iverson, M.D. | The Denver Post
Universal health care is on the ballot in Colorado because people recognize that insurer profits are made by denying care. Don’t let the insurance industry scare you into voting against your own interests.

Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

By Dave Anderson | Boulder (Colo.) Weekly
Recently, some 500,000 people around the country suddenly lost their health insurance as 10 of 23 nonprofit health care cooperatives collapsed. Some 80,000 Coloradans were left in the lurch when Colorado HealthOP collapsed. Nearly 40 percent of the people who purchased health insurance through the Colorado state exchange in 2015 were members of that co-op. Several more co-ops in other states may close soon.

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

By Ida Hellander, M.D., David U. Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H.
Organizers for the ColoradoCare ballot initiative have contacted some activists in Physicians for a National Health Program, seeking their endorsement and financial support. We summarize, below, our understanding of the initiative.

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015

By Louis Balizet, M.D. | Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftain
Fifty years ago – on July 30, 1965 – President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law.

Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

By Howie Wolf, M.D. | The Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)
It was refreshing to read the article in The Camera about "Changes in Colorado's health insurance market," (Daily Camera, Jan. 16) especially so because it was written by Marguerite Salazar, our state's insurance commissioner.

Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

By Louis Balizet, M.D. | Health News Colorado
The beginning of the new year seems a logical time to review the Affordable Care Act and to speculate on its future. In 2014, we saw the start of the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, the end of Vermont’s attempt to expand coverage beyond the ACA, and continued legal challenges aimed at killing the ACA piecemeal. What do all these portend for 2015?

Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014

By Donna Smith | Common Dreams
Remember Liz Fowler? She was the WellPoint executive who took a brief sabbatical from her direct paychecks from the private health insurance industry to write the Affordable Care Act while working for Senator Max Baucus. Once that project was wrapped up, Liz went to work briefly for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as she transitioned her way back to work as a lobbyist for health industry giant Johnson & Johnson.

Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013

By Rochelle Dworet, M.D. | Health Policy Solutions
So the Affordable Care Act is finally being implemented, even online. Our state has its own exchange, which seems to run better than the national model. The people in the states that implemented their own exchanges are all busy heaping accolades on each other. However, the real question is, “Where is the single-payer solution that would save hundreds of millions of dollars and lives?”

Posted on Friday, October 4, 2013

By Christy Steadman | Canon City (Colo.) Daily Record
Community members gathered Wednesday to hear information on Colorado's ballot Initiative 12, "Right to Health Care," at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church for a free public forum sponsored by Health Care for All Colorado.

Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013

By Dave Anderson | The Boulder Weekly
In Denver and Fort Collins, activists with Health Care for All Colorado (HCAC) have just hosted 48th birthday celebrations for Medicare, the highly successful program that has provided comprehensive low-cost health care for older people and the disabled since 1965. HCAC wants a similar publicly funded “single payer” system for all Americans.

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013

By Stephanie Carroll Carson | Public News Service - Colorado
DENVER -- Efforts toward universal health care in Colorado were highlighted over the weekend at an event in Denver, part of a push to establish a constitutional right to health care in the state.

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013

By Peter Marcus | The Colorado Statesman
Proponents of a universal health care system in Colorado are expected to kick off a ballot drive Saturday that would establish a state constitutional right to health care.

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013

By Thomas Gottlieb, M.D. | Health Policy Solutions (Colo.)
Coloradans need health care. It’s a basic human right. Yet as we get more information about Colorado’s new health insurance exchange, it seems less certain that people will get the health care they need.

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

By Michael Booth | The Denver Post
Health Care for All Colorado will shoot for a 2014 statewide ballot vote rather than 2013, supporters have decided.

Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013

By Ann Molison | The Coloradoan
During this month there have been two editorials, one written by the Coloradoan’s editorial board, and one by a spokesperson for a relatively new organization, Colorado Health Care Cooperative. Both writers are in support of a proposed cooperative health plan. The plan, which has yet to go before the state Senate, would result in savings and be run by a private board of directors.

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013

By Donna Smith | CommonDreams
It isn’t often anymore that I learn a new word in the health care system discussion, but this week I did. Churning. I was at a meeting here in Colorado where I have taken on a new role in advocating and administering for a publicly financed, universal, single-payer system with Health Care for All Colorado.

Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012

By Colorado Public News and Erika Gonzalez | KUNC Colorado Public News (NPR)
In 2008, Kimberly Fague was diagnosed with organ failure. Plagued by nausea, she lost a third of her body weight. She suffered from confusion and constant fatigue. Her liver and surrounding organs swelled to the point that she developed a hernia.

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012

By Cory D. Carroll, M.D. | The Coloradoan, Letters, March 25, 2012
Over the years, I have witnessed a new condition, not covered in any of my medical school lectures or textbooks, that is at epidemic proportions and worsening. The condition is caused by an out-of-control parasite -- the for-profit medical insurance industry.

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011

By Chris Gibbar | Letters, The Coloradoan
Medicare is less expensive to administer than private programs. Yet this wildly popular program is under attack. The Democratic Obama administration has offered to cut tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid, and Republicans in Congress are making serious attempts to privatize not only Medicare but Social Security. Both parties are failing the American people.

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ann Molison | Letters | The Coloradoan
Rep. Cory Gardner wants us to have vouchers to pay for our health care. This would end Medicare as we know it and would decrease the quality of medicine for everyone. I propose we do something that would save money, provide health care for everyone and create a more competitive opportunity for all businesses, especially small businesses and those in the manufacturing sector.

Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

By Kathryn Corazzelli | Summit (Colo.) Daily News
The reason Dr. Margaret Flowers works full-time to advocate a universal, single-payer health care model, she told a packed room Thursday, is because she wasn't able to provide the quality of care she wanted to as a pediatrician. Flowers said she was pressured to see more patients in less time, and had to compromise her integrity by not being fully honest to insurance companies about patient problems.

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

By NCBR staff | Northern Colorado Business Report
Even as a bill that would create health insurance exchanges for Colorado is set for a crucial vote on Wednesday morning, Margaret Flowers, M.D., is bringing the case for a single-payer health care system to the state.