As the 2016 general election draws closer and closer, Americans have some big decisions to make. And while most of the focus is on our presidential candidates, there are some critical state-level issues in play that could have a major impact at the national level.  One of these is Amendment 69 on the Colorado ballot.

If passed, this amendment would establish a single-payer health insurance system in the state, wiping out private healthcare and workers’ compensation policies.

This week, The Council is hosting its annual Insurance Leadership Forum in the state of Colorado, and the topic has been top of mind.

Speaking to some of our members, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., noted that the amendment would add $25 billion to the state budget and creates too small of a pool of people to effectively underwrite the risk. He affirmed that the state amendment simply does not make sense. 

Denver-based Robert Cohen, chairman and CEO of The IMA Financial Group and incoming Council chairman, commented that in addition to significantly increasing taxes, the amendment would hurt Colorado’s economy by making it far less attractive and affordable to locate your business in the state and create jobs. He also noted that the ambiguities and unknowns in the amendment create issues around healthcare choice, access and quality.

Council lobbyist Joel Kopperud added that this issue goes beyond the state of Colorado, as it could have a potential domino effect across the nation. 

Because Colorado uses a vote-by-mail system, Coloradans will begin casting their ballots later this month. The Council urges anyone in the state or with contacts in the state to ensure these issues are clearly understood.

“It is critical for Amendment 69 to be defeated by a large vote,” says Council lobbyist Joel Wood. “If not, it has the potential to come back again, continuing to threaten the market for employer provided benefits.”