ColoradoCare Ballot Initiative 2016
An initiative to amend Colorado's constitution and create a taxpayer-funded health insurance cooperative (ColoradoCare) will be on the state's ballot in 2016. PNHP has a short analysis of ColoradoCare here.
Thomas Billroth Gottlieb, MD
President, Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
Dr. Tom Gottlieb has 48 years experience in health care and was trained as a biochemist at the University of Colorado Boulder and as a physician at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC) in Denver. He worked in the Public Health Service (Indian Health Service), University of Colorado Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Denver Neighborhood Health Center (medical director), and private practice (Internal Medicine) in West Denver. His experiences include directorship of the Lutheran Medical Center Joint Venture (an Accountable Care Organization), a founder and medical director of a primary care group, New West Physicians, and founder and president of Denver Oncology Consortium. He practiced evidence-based practice principles with an emphasis on patient values and patient centered decision making. He is now retired and is devoting his time to introduce and implement universal health care financed by a public single-payer system. He has served as a board member for Health Care for All Colorado Foundation since November 2011 and was newly elected president in 2013.
Vincent Markovchick, MD, FACEP
Dr. Vincent Markovchick has more than 40 years experience in Emergency Medicine, holding numerous positions including Director of Emergency Medical Services, Director of Medical Education, Medical Director of the Paramedic Division, Denver Fire Department, Associate Program Director of Denver Affiliated Residency in Emergency Medicine, and staff physician at Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. He currently serves as Professor Emeritus, Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Colorado’s School of Medicine where he also served as Associated Dean for Health Affairs. He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 1970. He has received multiple awards and recognitions including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine, Heroes of Emergency Medicine from American College of Emergency Physicians, the Legacy Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and 2002 Best Doctors in America List. He was newly elected Vice President to the HCAC foundation’s Board of Directors in 2013.
Elinor Christiansen, MD
Dr. Christiansen is the past President of the American Medical Women’s Association. In 1955 she earned her MD from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (now known as MCP-HU). Her diverse medical career has involved a private practice in general practice in Ohio, maternal and child health in the inner city clinics of Denver, CO and School Health for Denver Public Schools, college health at Colorado Women’s College for 2 years followed by 18 years at University of Denver Student Health Service where she was a staff physician and also medical director the last 9 years. She was also part of the clinical faculty in Family Medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine and Medical Director and staff physician at Columbine Family Health Center.
Local Unions Endorsing HR676
- Boulder Area Labor Council
- District Council 1, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, IUPAT
Colorado State News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Louis Balizet, M.D. | Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftain
Fifty years ago – on July 30, 1965 – President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law.
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.
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?
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Susan Dugan | Washington Park (Colo.) Profile
Health care activist Roya Brown views health care as a basic human right. Drawn first to Health Care for All Colorado, Brown recently founded Young HCAC, whose mission is to “get young people involved in educating, mobilizing and agitating ... to get mad about what is going on.”
Doug Whitman, M.D. | The Coloradoan, Jan. 3, 2011
In the United States, we do have the finest nurses, physicians and technology in the world. The system, however, is far from the finest. Each year in the United States, the system drives 700,000 families to bankruptcy from medical bills (the majority of whom have medical insurance). Every year, the system leaves 50 million people uninsured. Every year, the system allows 45,000 people to die from lack of access to basic medical care.
By Dr. Howie Wolf | Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)
As a family physician that has practiced in Boulder County for 48 years, I feel our inadequate health care system is significantly closer to a "tipping point" than in 2006. I see more patients who are uninsured or underinsured, many due to layoffs in our sluggish economy and the inability of business owners to continue paying exorbitant costs to provide employees with health care benefits.
Kathlene S. Waller, M.D. | Fort Collins Coloradoan, May 6, 2010
Dear Auntie Em,
As I was just telling Toto a few days ago we're sure not in Kansas anymore. We've noticed that things are very strange when it comes to health-care reform here in the land of Oz.
By Michael Roberts | Denver Westword
Health Care For All Colorado (HCFAC) is behind a "Medicare For All" march co-starring Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Maryland pediatrician who was briefly arrested outside a Baltimore hotel where Obama was speaking while advocating for the issue.
By LORETTA SWORD | The Pueblo Chieftain (Colo.)
Proponents of a national health plan are disappointed that bills that emerged last year from the U.S. Senate and House didn't include a national health plan.
BY PAT FERRIER | Fort Collins Coloradoan
T.R. Reid is uncharacteristically angry. He's angry the richest country in the world cannot provide efficient, affordable health care to all its residents. He's angry the World Health Organization ranks the U.S. 37th for the cost, quality and coverage of its health-care system.
By Louis Balizet, M.D.
"Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it." So said Will Rogers about the weather, but he may as well have been referring to our health care system -- roundly decried, but still intact. Finally, however, on both state and national levels, well designed plans have emerged to replace our current wasteful chaotic system with the only workable alternative -- a single-payer, tax-financed system that eliminates private health insurance, provides universal coverage, and introduces adult supervision (centralized planning). Like the majority of American physicians, I feel that "medicare for all" is long overdue.
By Tom Linnell, EdD | The Coloradoan
I am starting to see why all of us - liberals, conservatives and independents - might really like single-payer health insurance.
by Michele Swenson | Board Member, Health Care for All Colorado
Five proposals were selected to be evaluated by the Lewin Group, including an additional proposal written by a subcommittee of the Commission. The Colorado Health Services Single Payer Proposal is the only reform proposal that demonstrated any savings for the state -- $1.4 billion -- and also the only one capable of providing comprehensive health care for all. The Colorado Commission chose to base most of its recommendations on its own (5th) Proposal.
Steve Pomerance | The Daily Camera
The single-payer approach provides savings from eliminating unnecessary costs that will help to cover the increased level of basic care that currently is simply not provided, so the final societal bill may not increase dramatically, and may even be reduced.
Janet K. Seeley, M.D., Ph.D | The Coloradoan
The single-payer proposal for Colorado health care reform solves the problem of multiple risk pools and reduces administrative costs by setting up a publicly financed trust fund. Yes, public financing means state health care taxes, but they are more than offset by the savings in current state and federal taxes for public programs, insurance premiums, high copays, deductibles and many out-of-pocket health expenses. For most of us, that would be less expensive than what we spend today.
BY KEVIN DUGGAN | The Coloradoan
"Private, for-profit health insurance served its purpose in the early part of the 20th century, but it is obsolete for the 21st century," said Dr. Kathy Waller, of Fort Collins.