After collecting more than 150K signatures on petitions, the voters of Colorado will next year consider a ballot initiative to move to a first in the nation, single payer health care plan for the entire state. ColoradoCare would, under this plan, cover the insurance bills for all residents through whichever provider they selected. That may sound like a fiscal disaster waiting to happen, but… well, okay. It is. (Denver Post)
“We’re all excited. This is really important for the people of Colorado,” said Ivan Miller, executive director of ColoradoCare Yes and head of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care.
“Gathering signatures is really tough. I think the political consensus was we didn’t have a prayer.”
The initiative calls for a 21-member governing board from seven regions of the state. Its first members would be appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, but an elected board would succeed them.
Miller said the board could use any excess revenues to pay refunds or enlarge benefits, but it could not raise the payroll tax without voter approval.
That last sentence contains a clue regarding the one “feature” of this plan which should just be massively popular. They plan to pay for it by imposing an additional ten percent payroll tax on every working person in the state. That’s right… the state would be lopping an additional ten percent right off the top of everyone’s paychecks – in addition to the many other federal, state and local government deductions which already trim down many people’s take home pay by a third or more – to pay for what is approaching a completely socialized health care plan. I bet the folks who are complaining that they either got no raise or a one percent raise last year will just be doing backflips over that.
Supporters are claiming that the massive payroll tax hike would raise $25 billion a year. That may be true, and at the same time it would more than double the size of the state’s budget. In return for this huge slug of cash, the citizens would be blessing the creation of a massive new bureaucracy of government officials (as described above) which will be responible for operating one of the largest schemes in the country to stick their fingers into the insurance business. Given how good the government is at managing and operating everything else outside of their own areas of experience and expertise, what could possibly go wrong?
Update: “Payer,” not “player.” The headline has been corrected.