A measure that would create a universal health care system in Colorado has received enough signatures to make it to the 2016 ballot, Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced Monday.
"ColoradoCare" backers turned in 109,134 valid signatures, Williams' office calculated. It needed at least 98,492.
“Coloradans are going to pay less if we pass this," ColoradoCare spokesman T.R. Reid said when the signatures were turned in. "The insurance companies don’t people paying them less, so they’re going to fight us."
If voters approve it, "ColoradoCare" would replace the federal Affordable Care Act. Joey Bunch of the Denver Post recently explained how it would work:
People would still be able to choose their medical provider, but the bills would be paid for by ColoradoCare, the same way bills are paid by private insurance companies or government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Savings and extra benefits would be paid for by cutting down administrative costs, according to ColoradoCare supporters. They point to a 2012 Institute of Medicine report that indicated 27 percent of the $2.8 trillion spent annually on health care in the U.S. pays for unnecessary administration, duplication and other waste.
To pay for ColoradoCare, employers would put in 6.67 percent in payroll "premium" taxes and the employee would pay 3.33 percent to replace current insurance.
Critics say it’s too expensive and will lead health care shortages. One told the Post that replacing Obamacare with ColoradoCare would be like, "trading the antichrist for the Devil himself."
Gov. John Hickenlooper said he's reserving judgment on the proposal until state analysts weigh in.
“A lot of people say it’ll cost a lot more. A lot of people say it’s going to be the salvation and lower the costs," Hickenlooper said. "Let’s find out what the numbers say.”