Colorado can lead the nation towards better health care for everyone

It’s time for Colorado to do what’s simple, needed, and fair: Pay for health care for everyone by collecting taxes everyone can afford.

The solution to our broken health care system has been clear for decades. When President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1954, he made real in part what had always been an intention to extend universal health care to every American.

The COVID-19 crisis has made painfully evident the need for the U.S. to adopt Improved Medicare for All. Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans have lost their jobs and their employer-based health insurance due to circumstances beyond their control.  Predictably, as they have through the years, those who now profit most from our cruel, ineffective, maze-like insurance-based health care payment system continue to form powerful coalitions to prevent change. They do this no matter how many Americans die, go bankrupt, or spend years trying to pay off medical debt.

We’ve succumbed, as a nation, to a long history of war cries against the only solution that covers everyone under one robust public health care payment plan for our private care.

Colorado can lead the nation. We’re a purple state, seeking win-win solutions, uninterested in placing blame. Let’s then ASAP get to a fix that makes sure the people of Colorado always get the health care they need affordably, whether there’s a global pandemic or not.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ran on a platform for universal health care. Before COVID-19 hit, he saw health reform opponents raise multiple heads and many hefty war chests to oppose a Colorado public option bill that hadn’t yet been introduced when the pandemic hit. These bullies are always ready to raise big guns at anyone who threatens their huge profits, even in small, incremental ways.

If we’re going to make any changes to our health care system, they will fight it — hard. So, we might as well go for the gold.

It’s time for universal health care for Coloradans. We know our legislators and Gov. Polis will use what’s left of this year’s legislative session and budget dealing with emergencies. But next year, let’s work together to enact the gold standard, the solution that will be simple, fair, and ensure health care for every Coloradan—no matter their politics, persuasions, race, wealth, color, employment status, or social standing. Legislators could refer this measure onto the ballot, where the people of Colorado could decide. Sure, we could leave all those who’ve lost their jobs/health insurance without health care or to try their luck at GoFundMe. Or we can decide that we’re all in this together.

We Coloradans respect self-sufficiency, and universal health care will help level the playing field, giving every Coloradan a fighting chance to build a life worth living for.

We all deserve that chance. Here in Colorado, we still believe in the promise of America. And we realize now — more than ever before — that quality health care for every one of us protects and supports us all.

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