Colorado to Vote on State-Provided Healthcare

Date: December 02, 2015

Plan would require a 10 percent payroll tax.

Small business owners are watching closely as Colorado debates the idea of having the state pay for its residents’ medical care.

The new ColoradoCare system would replace Connect for Colorado, the health exchange set up in anticipation of Obamacare. Colorado Care would be funded by a 10 percent payroll tax—two-thirds of which would be paid for by employers and the rest by employees. Self-employed people would have to pay the full 10 percent. Residents would also face a 10 percent tax on investment earnings.

Tony Gagliardi, NFIB Colorado state director, said those are alarming figures for small businesses. “How much tax revenue can you raise from businesses no longer in operation and employees no longer working?” he wrote in The Business Times. “There’s no way a small business owner could afford single-payer health care.”

If the $25 billion system becomes law, Colorado residents could still chose their doctors, but the state would pay the bills instead of insurance companies. Proponents say it would lower administrative costs and cover people who still aren’t insured under Obamacare.

But Byron McCurdy, board president of the Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters, told The Denver Post that ColoradoCare supporters’ figures are “a little pie-in-the-sky.”

“I can’t believe you’d have a better healthcare system,” he said. “It just doesn’t compute.”

The issue will go on the ballot in November 2016. According to Gagliardi, “NFIB/CO will do everything possible to protect our members from this ill-conceived, destined to fail measure.”

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