In the first part of a two-part series last week, experts and politicians on both sides of the aisle answered key questions about
Voters, during this year's general election, will decide if
The ColoradoCare System Initiative, or Amendment 69, also is known as ColoradoCare. If passed, it would create a health care payment system designed to finance universal health care for all
Proponents claim, "it would cover Coloradans like
Opponents say, "it would double the state budget, hurt small business, (it) provides no guarantees for coverage and would hurt
To aid voters in making their decision in November, The Tribune and its partners at
Who is behind it?
The organization, ColoradoCareYES, traces several of its roots back to the '208 Commission' on health care established in 2006 under Gov.
That commission, according to
Since then, Sen.
"There were people here who were involved in trying to get it through the Legislature in the past, and I think everybody sort of realized how saddled down it gets," Perkins said.
All the amendments and compromises that came along with trying to pass universal health care took away its strength and eventually killed the legislative efforts, he said.
The current grassroots movement -- predominantly funded by
What have other states done as far as other efforts at universal health care?
"Nobody has passed anything like this in
"We're actually the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't have a universal health care system like this in place on the national level," he said.
Would it be transparent?
Because of ColoradoCare's proposed cooperative business model, the organization should be fully transparent.
"It would be subject to sunshine laws and open meetings and full disclosure as to what's going on at the meetings and the decisions they make," Perkins said.
Because ColoradoCare would be tied to state government laws, that board would need to follow existing government transparency rules, Perkins said.
"Board meetings would be open and transparent. They can't raise premiums without a vote of the people of
"It will be governed by a 21-member board not subject to campaign finance requirements or voter recall," she said. "There's no real requirement to have health care experience to be elected."
How would it affect hospitals?
Hospitals could see a loss of talent if public payers don't pay the full price of care.
Public payers, such as
"They'll choose other alternatives," Unger said. "
Unger said some hospitals would likely close as a result of underpayment.
ColoradoCare also wouldn't eliminate the need to process other insurance providers, Unger said.
How will it affect physicians?
Physicians are paid for the services they provide as professionals, Mulready said, so when reimbursements get cut, it's a big deal.
"It's trying to do more with fewer resources," Mulready said. "We are concerned with the real impacts of trying to do more with less."
Mulready said reimbursement cuts could also affect how much money is available to invest in new technology. Without the means to diagnose patients to the best of their ability, physicians could get frustrated.
"Decreased reimbursement would impact both physicians' and hospitals' ability to provide the kind of care we deliver today," Mulready said.
For their part, supporters of the initiative say it would actually mean doctors would make more, because they would get the same rate for all patients. Perkins, with ColoradoCareYES, said organizers have the goal of reimbursing health care providers at a higher rate than
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